37 new cases of COVID-19, tough new restrictions in place (Nov 24)

As of today, Nov. 24, Nova Scotia has 87 active cases of COVID-19. Thirty-seven new cases are being reported today.

Thirty-five of the new cases are in Central Zone, and a case in Northern Zone is connected to exposures in Central Zone. All of those cases were identified Monday, Nov. 23.

There is also a case, identified today, at Northeast Kings Education Centre in Canning, Kings. Co., in Western Zone.

The person is not in school today and is self-isolating. Public health will be in touch with close contacts as part of their ongoing investigation and advise of next steps. Everyone in a class which a confirmed case attended is being tested and asked to self-isolate for 14 days. Northeast Kings Education Centre will be closed for the remainder of the week and students will be supported to learn at home.

Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 1,561 Nova Scotia tests on Nov. 23.

Since Oct. 1, Nova Scotia has had 35,188 negative test results, 138 positive COVID-19 cases and no deaths. No one is currently in hospital. Cases range in age from under 10 to over 70. Fifty-one cases are now resolved. Cumulative cases by zone may change as data is updated in Panorama.

Visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/ to do a self-assessment if in the past 48 hours you have had or you are currently experiencing:
— fever (i.e. chills/sweats) or cough (new or worsening) 

Two or more of the following symptoms (new or worsening):
— sore throat
— runny nose/ nasal congestion
— headache
— shortness of breath

Call 811 if you cannot access the online self-assessment or wish to speak with a nurse about your symptoms.

When a new case of COVID-19 is confirmed, public health works to identify and test people who may have come in close contact with that person. Those individuals who have been confirmed are being directed to self-isolate at home, away from the public, for 14 days.

Anyone who has travelled outside of Atlantic Canada must self-isolate for 14 days. As always, any Nova Scotian who develops symptoms of acute respiratory illness should limit their contact with others until they feel better. 

It remains important for Nova Scotians to strictly adhere to the public health order and directives – practise good hand washing and other hygiene steps, maintain a physical distance when and where required. Wearing a non-medical mask is mandatory in most indoor public places.

As of Nov. 23, rules concerning interprovincial travel within Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador have changed. The premiers of all four Atlantic provinces are cautioning against non-essential travel into neighbouring provinces. Starting today, Nov. 24, all non-essential travel into Prince Edward Island requires a 14-day self-isolation. Starting Wednesday, Nov. 25, all non-essential travel into Newfoundland and Labrador requires a 14-day self-isolation period. These changes will be in effect for two weeks. All public health directives of each province must be followed. Under Nova Scotia’s Health Protection Act order, visitors from outside of Atlantic Canada must self-isolate for 14 days. 

Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information, handwashing posters and fact sheets at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus .

Businesses and other organizations can find information to help them safely reopen at https://novascotia.ca/reopening-nova-scotia .

Quick Facts:
— testing numbers are updated daily at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus
— a state of emergency was declared under the Emergency Management Act on March 22 and extended to Nov. 29
— online booking for COVID-19 testing appointments is available for Nova Scotians getting a test at all primary assessment centres or at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax 

Additional Resources:
Government of Canada: https://canada.ca/coronavirus

Government of Canada information line 1-833-784-4397 (toll-free)

The Mental Health Provincial Crisis Line is available 24/7 to anyone experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis, or someone concerned about them, by calling 1-888-429-8167 (toll-free)

Kids Help Phone is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free)

For help or information about domestic violence 24/7, call 1-855-225-0220 (toll-free)

For more information about COVID-19 testing and online booking, visit https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/symptoms-and-testing/

The COVID-19 self-assessment is at https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/

To turn the tide of COVID-19 infections in Nova Scotia, Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, announced new restrictions in Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) and across the province today, Nov. 24.

“We need to flip the switch on COVID-19 right now,” said Premier McNeil. “COVID-19 is moving quickly in Halifax, and we need to stop it from spreading further into Nova Scotia. We must bring COVID-19 under control before our health system is overwhelmed and it infects our most vulnerable citizens. Stopping the spread is fully up to us.”

New restrictions will come into force at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 26, and continue for two weeks until midnight Dec. 9, with a possibility of extension. 

Nova Scotians are being asked to avoid non-essential travel:
— in and out of western and central HRM (which is defined as HRM from Hubbards to, and including, Porters Lake and the communities up to Elmsdale and Mount Uniacke in Hants County – see https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/  for boundaries).
— to other Atlantic provinces

The following will apply to the parts of western and central HRM:
— the gathering limit in public is five (or up to the number of members of an immediate family in a household)
— mandatory masking now applies to common areas of multi-unit residential buildings, such as apartment buildings and condos
— restaurants and licenced establishments are closed for in-person dining but may provide take-out or delivery
— retail stores must restrict shoppers and staff to 25 per cent or less of allowable capacity
— wineries, distilleries and breweries cannot hold tastings or in-person dining and must follow retail rules in their stores (delivery and curbside pickup allowed)
— organized sports, recreational, athletic, arts and cultural activities, faith-based activities are paused
— profit and non-profit fitness and recreational facilities closed
— libraries and museums are closed, including the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
— the casino and First Nations gaming establishments are closed
— stronger enforcement of illegal gatherings, including ticketing of all attendees (total fine of $1,000)

Schools, after-school programs and childcare will remain open while certain personal services businesses such as hairstylists, estheticians and nail salons in western and central HRM can continue except procedures that cannot be done while a patron is masked. 

The following new restrictions apply across the province:
— to protect our most vulnerable, there will be no visitors except volunteers and designated caregivers to long-term care facilities and Adult Residential Centres and Regional Rehabilitation Centres licensed by the Department of Community Services
— sports teams are restricted to local or regional play only
— no extracurricular activities between schools

To further protect our most vulnerable, staff, volunteers and designated caregivers at long-term facilities in HRM will undergo voluntary, bi-weekly testing. Testing will be phased-in starting Nov. 27.

“COVID-19 loves social and group activities because it can spread quickly and easily,” said Dr. Strang. “These measures are targeted to reduce the situations in which COVID-19 thrives. Go to work or go to school, then go home and stay there. One family member can shop for necessities. It will likely get worse before it gets better so don’t falter in following public health measures.”

Quick Facts: 
— visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/  to do a self-assessment if in the past 48 hours you have had or you are currently experiencing fever or a new cough or you are experiencing two or more of sore throat, runny nose/nasal congestion, headache and shortness of breath
— testing numbers are updated daily at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus
— a state of emergency was declared under the Emergency Management Act on March 22 and extended to Nov. 29
— online booking for COVID-19 testing appointments is available for Nova Scotians getting a test at all primary assessment centres or at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax 

Councillor Tim Outhit elected Deputy Mayor

Response to COVID-19: Update to facility bookings and recreation programming