NOTE: This week is now over. For the very latest news, please go here. But for an informative look back at exactly how Nova Scotia responded to COVID-19 in realtime, keep on reading.
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Editor's note: In its 28 years The Coast has never been a just-the-facts news service, but for these strange times this news centre offers quick-hit updates.
As discussed yesterday, because the province has not issued a COVID-19 press release update today, that lets us know there are no new cases today. And from the province's C19 data page, we can see there are three active cases, so the same three people who've been diagnosed lately are still fighting their infections; the person who was in the ICU remains in the ICU.
Each province and territory publicly reports new cases of COVID-19 that get diagnosed, but that reporting doesn't happen the same way across the country. Weekends are a particularly clear point of difference. For example, British Columbia and Alberta take Saturday and Sunday off completely, announcing no numbers even through BC is averaging 106 cases a day right now, and Alberta is averaging 145 cases.
Until today, Nova Scotia has been issuing a full C19 press release seven days a week for nearly seven months. But the province announced a new weekend policy this week, which starts now. That policy is to only send out a press release on weekend days if there are new cases to announce; when there are no new cases, there is no report sent to media.
And today is just such a day. No new cases, no report.
Nova Scotia is not giving up on announcing numbers on the weekend, however. The province's main C19 data page will be updated on Saturday and Sunday—today it tells us there are still three patients who have the disease actively, including one person in the ICU. Also, the Nova Scotia Government Twitter account will tweet out weekend updates, confirming there are no new cases even without a news release to say it.
A press release from the federal government says Nova Scotia will soon be taking part in the COVID Alert mobile phone tracing app. "The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and the Premier of Nova Scotia, Stephen McNeil, today announced that people in Nova Scotia will soon be able to receive one-time keys from their health authorities to use with COVID Alert, Canada’s COVID-19 exposure notification app," reads the release. "The app helps notify users if they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19."
Both Nova Scotia and PEI will be up and running on the app "in the very near future," according to the release, joining Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick in supporting the app.
The heading on today's provincial COVID-19 report says it all: "One New Case of COVID-19, State of Emergency Renewed." As much as it seems Nova Scotia is moving in the right direction, the disease is still coming and we continue to live under a state of emergency.
"The new case is in the Central Zone and is related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada," the report says, talking about the NS Health Authority zone that includes Halifax and a large area around the city. "The individual has been self-isolating, as required." We now have three active cases, including the patient who remains in the ICU.
Nova Scotia was the last province to declare a state of emergency or a public health emergency when it finally made the call on Sunday, March 22. That first SOE was for two weeks, and it has been extended every second week since, for more than six months.
You could be forgiven for thinking the United States had just one case today, too, instead of something like 40,000 cases, because Donald Trump is reporting a C19 diagnosis.
We're happy to report the province has nothing to report today. There are no new cases of COVID-19, and only one of the two patients with the disease is in hospital. That person is in the ICU, where they've been since their C19 diagnosis was announced Tuesday, September 22.
That was fun while it lasted. Until today, Nova Scotia had the longest active no-case streak among the provinces (the entire North has been free of COVID-19 for ages). But now the province is reporting a new case.
The case is in the Northern health zone (think Truro and the New Brunswick border area, not the more intuitive Cape Breton). The report says it's "related to travel outside of Canada. The individual has been self-isolating, as required."
It doesn't really matter to Nova Scotians what kind of travel it was. Except for Canada's north, anywhere beyond the Atlantic bubble of the four east coast provinces is a comparatively high C19 risk, whether that's England, New England or British Columbia. Travel is the only way we can get the disease right now because, as alluded to in the report, the two-week quarantine on visitors is working to keep the general community safe.
The patient with the province's other active case remains in the ICU.
The current longest streak among Canadian provinces belongs to New Brunswick, at five days in a row without a case. The provinces to the west of our bubble haven't gone a single day (outside of a weekend reporting break) without a case since Saskatchewan reported no cases on August 30. As a group, the six western provinces have had 18,998 new cases diagnosed in the last 14 days; at the same time the Atlantic provinces have had 13 cases.
No new cases today, one patient with COVID-19 in the hospital, 841 tests completed: the province's C19 report shows things are under control. Take that, coronavirus.
Starting the week right, the province is reporting no new cases of COVID-19. There remains one person known to have the disease in the province, and it's a serious case as the patient is in the ICU. But that's all the C19 in the province right now.
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