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67 new cases might be the tip of the iceberg on April 30

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Today's COVID-19 report from the province doesn't just announce the same old stuff like new cases (67, down from yesterday), hospitalizations (22 in hospital, five of those in ICU, both numbers up from yesterday) and active cases (589, another record high). Today's report also conclusively proves the adage that it's possible to have too much of a good thing.

For weeks, if not months, Nova Scotia has encouraged its citizens to get tested for COVID, even if no symptoms are present. “Thousands and thousands of Nova Scotians have done what we have asked—get tested. Because of that, there currently is a large backlog in the lab of about three days,” top doc Robert Strang says in the report. “We need to expect high case numbers in the days ahead as the lab and public health get caught up.”

The backlog is about 45,000 tests, and as The Coast's full story about the situation explains, at recent rates that means over 400 positives are already in local labs, just waiting to be discovered. Now the province wants asymptomatic people to only get rapid testing at pop-up sites (here's where they are this weekend), leaving full testing for those with symptoms or solid exposure concerns. "Anyone else who already has an appointment booked should cancel it following instructions in their confirmation email."

The 67 new cases break down like this in the report: "Fifty-seven cases are in Central Zone, four cases are in Western Zone, three cases are in Eastern Zone and three cases are in Northern Zone.…One of the cases today in Central Zone is a staff member at Clarmar Residential Care Facility, a residential care home in Dartmouth. This is the second case involving staff at the facility."

Northwood also had a staff case earlier this week, and today The Coast has a story about it. We're sure you'll join us in hoping that none of this 45,000-test backlog turns out to be a resident at Northwood or any other nursing home, enduring the delay in waiting for the diagnosis to arrive.

Where Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 cases are on Friday, April 30

HEALTH ZONE & NETWORK NEW CASES CLOSED CASES ACTIVE CASES
Western zone totals 4 new 3 closed 16 active
Yarmouth 1 - 5
Lunenburg 3 2 5
Wolfville - 1 6
Central zone totals 49 new 16 closed 503 active
West Hants - - 4
Halifax 19 10 170
Dartmouth 25 6 235
Bedford 4 - 37
Eastern Shore 1 - 11
Northern zone totals 3 new 1 closed 18 active
Truro 2 - 10
Amherst - - -
Pictou 1 1 8
Eastern zone totals 3 new 4 closed 46 active
Antigonish - 1 -
Inverness - 1 4
Sydney 3 2 42

TABLE NOTES The totals for the health zones (Northern, Eastern, Western, Central) may be different than the totals you'd get by adding up the numbers in the Community Health Networks that make up each zone. The zone totals reflect every case in the area, while the community network numbers only show cases that can be localized with the patient's postal code to a region inside the bigger area. Because case information may be updated by the province after cases are announced, two things that lead to different totals are common: 1. the province never gets the information to track some case(s) at the community network level, usually leading to a higher number of cases in the zone total than the sum of the networks, and 2. a case may appear in the network day(s) after it was announced when a case that didn't have a postal code receives one, usually leading to a lower number of cases in the zone total than the sum of the networks. The names of the community networks here have been adapted/shortened for simplicity (click to download the province's PDF map with the exhaustively complete network names). All data comes from the Nova Scotia COVID-19 data page. We use a dash (-) instead of a zero (0) where applicable in the health network numbers to make the table easier to read.

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