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.
After yesterday’s three new cases, it’s a Thanksgiving-weekend relief that the province doesn’t have even a single case to report today, PLUS another patient has recovered.
We’re gonna speculate that the two recoveries in the last two days are the people whose cases were announced September 20 and October 2. That would leave yesterday’s patients plus the person who’s still in the ICU as the province’s four active cases.
For all of you who found this week’s “no cases, three active cases, one patient in the ICU” routine tedious, the province is reporting something much different. What’s that? Everybody liked having no cases and didn’t find it monotonous at all? Yeah, us too. Which means the whole province is out of luck today. Shit.
Nova Scotia has three new cases of COVID-19. They’re in the Central health zone (Halifax and a wide margin outside the the city) and are related to each other. Two people were travelling outside Canada, and the third is described by the province as “a close contact of them.” That could be two parents and their kid, a couple work colleagues who share an office with a third, a polyamorous triad or whatever relationship comes to mind for you.
Much more importantly, the update from the province says the situation is under control: “The individuals have been self-isolating, as required. None of these cases is related to the outbreak in New Brunswick.”
Saturday’s bit of good C19 news is that one of patients who had an active case this week has recovered. (It wasn’t the person in the ICU, who is still there.) So there are currently five active cases in Nova Scotia.
The recent rash of cases in our closest neighbour inspired a statement late this afternoon from Nova Scotia top doc Robert Strang. He is not freaking out, which isn't a surprise at all given the default gruff demeanour he's displayed throughout the pandemic. The Atlantic bubble is still intact; no borders are shutting down; you shouldn't freak out, either. Or as his statement says:
We are monitoring the situation in New Brunswick and are in close contact with our counterparts in that province. There are no changes to our border policy at this time.
Also not surprising, Strang used the statement to give yet another reminder that it's still important to keep washing your hands. "The key measures of physical distancing, gathering limits, hand washing and using a non-medical mask will help keep us safe." Good to know—again. But maybe he should tell the people in New Brunswick, because apparently they haven't gotten the message.
Oh, you guessed? No new cases, three active cases, one person in the ICU? Yeah, you guessed.
Nova Scotia’s case-free streak is now at seven days.
Yesterday, the Nova Scotia Health Authority issued a warning about potential COVID-19 exposures in New Brunswick, which we denizens of the Atlantic bubble need to know about. (The warning was for two places in Moncton—the Costco and a St-Hubert restaurant—at various times from October 1 through 5. Deets here if you have reason to be concerned.) Otherwise we are managing to stay clear of this foolish disease. What a fantastic way to approach the holiday weekend.
Even as the provinces west of the Atlantic bubble set another record for new cases, and New Brunswick is dealing with a COVID-19 spike out of the blue, Nova Scotia remains in its wonderful rut, reporting no new cases and three patients—including the one in ICU—with active cases.
That’s six days in a row, going for lucky seven on Friday. Plus the Western health zone has been case-free for a full two-week C19 incubation cycle, so it reverts to a chill green on our virus map. This all feels too good to last, but right now it sure does feel good.
Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 update is getting repetitive—but that’s just fine. For the fifth day in a row, there are no new cases and three patients with active cases. And yes, that one patient who’s been in the ICU for over two weeks is still there.
Despite the ongoing good news, premier Stephen McNeil and chief medical officer of health Robert Strang are not relaxing the province’s pandemic response. They’re concerned about the C19 second wave that’s already hitting the west of Canada; read Coast editor Kyle Shaw’s report on the country’s record-setting infection rate and what Nova Scotia is doing about it here.
Nova Scotia’s reporting no new cases for the fourth day in a row, the longest case-free streak of any province in the country. The North is a completely different story—Nunavut, for example, still has not had a COVID-19 case of its own—but unfortunately four days without a case is the best of the provinces.
We still have three active cases, including the patient who has been in the ICU for two weeks and counting.
The week in COVID-19 starts on a positive note for Nova Scotia, with the province reporting no new cases of the disease. There are three people with active C19 in the province; the patient who’s been in the ICU since September 22 is still there.
This makes three days in a row without a case, the longest streak in the county outside the North. New Brunswick reported a case on Saturday. Prince Edward Island had a case on both Saturday and Sunday. And Newfoundland and Labrador announced two cases Sunday.
With the Thanksgiving holiday Monday a week from today, the province issued a press release to remind us all about the public health rules that are in effect for the long-weekend celebration. You'll recall from the before times that Thanksgiving used to feature big groups of family and friends travelling to get together and enjoy meals. This COVID-19 year, the largest group allowed to assemble in Nova Scotia without two metres of distance between everybody is 10 people.
Eleven or more people would have to be physically distanced. Anyone coming here from outside the Atlantic bubble would have to quarantine alone for two weeks before joining a group around the table. (This includes so-called rotational workers, who enjoy some relaxed rules on quarantining as they travel back and forth from their jobs in other provinces, but they can't socialize with people outside their household while self-isolating.) And anyone who leaves the bubble for Thanksgiving has to do the two-week quarantine on their return.
“Nova Scotians are strongly encouraged to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends from their consistent group of 10,” reads the press release, which includes this quote from provincial top doc Robert Strang: "When deciding who to invite, consider the impacts on family and friends who may be more vulnerable and adjust your Thanksgiving celebrations to be as safe as possible."
The province includes the following “tips”—copied straight from the announcement—that helpfully re-cast a cozy fall meal as a medical-grade nutrition-intake opportunity. Fun!
— regularly clean while preparing food and disinfect other high touch surface areas in the household such as washrooms, doorknobs, countertops, tables, chairs, etc.
— do not host if you or someone in your household are feeling unwell or are self-isolating for any reason
— do not host guests who are feeling unwell or are self-isolating for any reason; you can send a meal home for them
— think about how to make food service more COVID-safe - for example, designate one person to prepare plates instead of passing around bowls and platters with common utensils
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