COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Friday, Jul 23

Updates including briefings, infections and our daily map of community COVID-19.

NOTE: This day is now over. Click for the latest on COVID-19 from The Coast. Or for an informative look back at Nova Scotia's evolving pandemic response, keep on reading.



Weekend reporting stops

In a note at the top of today's report, the province announces that "Nova Scotia will no longer issue COVID-19 news releases or update the COVID-19 data dashboard on weekends. Monday updates will include weekend data." So The Coast won't be doing its standard daily COVID report on the weekend, either. We hope you are too busy enjoying the relaxed restrictions of Phase 4—and the general decline in COVID that allows the province to take weekend reporting off—to miss us.


Vaccination slowdown

For the third day in a row, the province is reporting that no COVID patients are in hospital. That is fantastic news heading into the weekend.

In testing, Nova Scotia says local labs processed 2,821 PCR tests yesterday. That is slightly above the current daily average, which its more good news.

Unfortunately the vaccine report isn't quite so glowing. Sure, it would be hard to beat yesterday, when Nova Scotia's reported vaccine penetration finally passed the target of having 75 percent of the population vaccinated with at least one dose. And it's not like we went backward since yesterday. But we sure slowed down. Clinics across the province injected 15,161 vaccine doses into arms yesterday, the lowest total reported for a non-weekend day since Monday, June 21, a month ago. Nearly 14,000 of those jabs went to people getting their second dose, so the population with at least one dose only rose from 75.06 percent to 75.21 percent, the smallest increase this week.

"If everyone who is eligible for their second dose moves up their appointment, the province will reach its minimum target of 75 per cent of the population fully vaccinated, and move to the next phase of reopening by the end of August," says the vaccine update the province released today. That is nothing to complain about. But given the plateauing pace of uptake, it's going to take a very long time to get where top doc Robert Strang is aiming, which doesn't stop at 75 percent. "That’s just a target, a minimum target," he said recently. "We need to keep adding to and building that every day."

Last Saturday, Newfoundland and Labrador passed 80 percent with at least one dose last week, according to numbers released today by the federal government. Watch The Coast's animated vaccination rate tracker and find out two places are between Newfoundland in first place and Nova Scotia in fourth on Canada's list.


2 new cases, 1 recovery

Nova Scotia's active caseload increases today, to 12 active COVID cases, on a provincial report of two new infections and only one person recovering. "The cases are in Central Zone," says the Nova Scotia report for Friday. "One is related to a close contact of a previously reported case. The other is related to travel and is connected to the Royal Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Halifax."

Our map and table of COVID in Nova Scotia's community health networks, below, show two new cases in the Halifax network, one in the Dartmouth network, for a total of three new cases. How does that work when the province is reporting only two cases? The province must have gotten new information about one of the cases announced on Wednesday, and was able to move it out of being "Community not known"—shown by the negative one in the table—and assign it to either Halifax or Dartmouth.

It's impossible for us to know from the province's data dashboard what cases are the two new ones announced today, and which one was announced in the batch of seven cases on Wednesday but is only now assigned to a network. We all just have to live with a little uncertainty.


Yup, it’s still a state of emergency

Nova Scotia extends its COVID state of emergency today, as it has every two weeks since March 22, 2020, 16 long months ago.

Here's how the province's daily report puts it: "The province is renewing the state of emergency to protect the health and safety of Nova Scotians and ensure safety measures and other important actions can continue. The order will take effect at noon, Sunday, July 25, and extend to noon, Sunday, Aug. 8, unless government terminates or extends it."


Map of cases in community health networks

This infographic was created by The Coast using daily case data from Nova Scotia's official COVID-19 dashboard. Our goal is for this to be the best NS COVID map around, clearer and more informative than the province or any other media organization provides. To get there we do an analysis of the data to find each day's new and resolved case numbers in the 14 community health networks, information the province does not provide. For a different but still highly accessible approach to the latest COVID statistics, check out our case table.

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Case table of the health networks

The Coast uses data logged from Nova Scotia's official COVID-19 dashboard in order to provide this tabulated breakdown. The province reports the number of active cases in each of Nova Scotia's 14 community health networks, but we do the math to be able to report the new and resolved case numbers. We also map the data to provide a different view of the case information.

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New and active cases visualized

This interactive graph charts COVID activity in Nova Scotia's third wave, comparing daily new cases with that day’s active caseload. The dark line tracks the rise and fall of new infections reported by the province, which hit a Nova Scotian pandemic record high of 227 cases in a single day on May 7. The green area is the province's caseload, which peaked May 10 at 1,655 active cases. Click or however over any point on the graph and the detail for that moment will pop up. To focus on just new or active cases, you can click the legend at the top left of the graph to hide or reveal that data set.

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Vaccination in the population

How many Nova Scotians already have one dose of vaccine? How many are fully vaccinated with two doses? And how close are we to the herd immunity goal of 75 percent of the province fully vaxxed? These questions are answered in our chart of the vaccination rate in Nova Scotia since the province started reporting these numbers in January 2021, breaking out people who've had a single dose separate from those who've had the full complement of two doses. (Here's more information about the 75 percent target and what it will take to get there.) Note: The province doesn't update vaccination numbers on weekends.

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Click here for yesterday's COVID-19 news roundup, for July 22, 2021.

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