Nova Scotia is reporting 1,474 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 49 hospitalizations during the seven-day period ending June 6. The number of new PCR-positive tests has decreased; however, hospital admissions have increased.
There were also 21 COVID-19 deaths reported in Panorama, public health’s disease information system during this seven-day period, including two deaths that occurred last week. There is typically a delay in reporting deaths and the remaining 19 occurred between April 25 and May 30. Nineteen (90 per cent) of the 21 people were at least 70 years old.
“My thoughts are with the 21 families who’ve lost their loved ones to COVID-19,” said Dr. Shelley Deeks, Nova Scotia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health. “As summer approaches, many of us are excited to reconnect with family and friends, but it’s important we do so safely to protect those at high risk. Gather outside when you can, stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, and if you’re sick, please stay home.”
People 70 years of age and older continue to be at highest risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19. Since the start of the Omicron waves December 8, 2021, the median age of hospitalizations is 72, and the median age of people who have died is 81.
The data show that age is the biggest risk factor for severe disease and that vaccines work. The risk of hospitalization is nearly 11 times higher for people 70 and older and the risk of death about 125 times higher when compared to those under 50. Vaccine-related immunity wanes more quickly in people 70 and older, which is why a second booster dose was recommended this spring. Most adults under 70 are still well protected against severe illness by their two-dose primary series plus one booster.
To date, 65.6 per cent of Nova Scotians 18 and older have received at least one booster dose, and 68,452 people have received a second.
The weekly COVID-19 epidemiologic summary is prepared for the Chief Medical Officer of Health and his team to inform public health’s management of the pandemic. It tracks weekly trends and is focused on monitoring for severe outcomes in key populations.