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.
Testing back to normal
Nova Scotians apparently love COVID tests. Earlier in the third wave we were getting so many tests that we overloaded the lab, leading to Strang asking people to switch to the rapid-testing pop-up sites where possible, instead of getting the PCR tests that the lab has to process. And after that, there was indeed a drop-off in the number of PCR tests reported every day by the province—on the following graph that compares testing with new cases, you can find there was a recent low of 4,421 tests reported last Tuesday, May 11, the day before the province declared the backlog cleared.
Since the start of April, the graph show that cases and tests have roughly followed each other up and down, with the line for cases normally falling within the area of tests. Something unusual happens around May 5, where new cases start tracking above tests: that's when the province is working through the backlog, finding new positives in old tests, and performing fewer tests. But today things are back to normal, with 10,272 tests reported, and the line for Saturday's 86 new cases falling back within the testing area.
New infections mapped
COVID in the community health networksOur table logs data from Nova Scotia's official COVID-19 dashboard in order to provide this information. The province reports the number of active cases in each of the 14 community health networks, but The Coast does the math to be able to report the new and resolved case numbers.
86 new cases as the active caseload drops again
Saturday, May 15, 2021
Days in a row with cases
Total cases in Nova Scotia during pandemic
Total COVID deaths
Nova Scotia’s lockdown
The province's Saturday COVID-19 report is announcing 86 new infections across Nova Scotia. The last time the number of new cases was below 100 was 15 days ago, Friday, April 30, when there were 67 cases.
One case is a worker at a long-term care centre in Beaver Bank, The Ivy Meadows. The province says staff and residents from the worker's unit are getting tested, and that most residents have had two doses of vaccine. There is no indication from the province if the infected staff had zero, one or two doses of vaccine.
The breakdown of the 86 new cases is 66 cases in Central zone, 11 Eastern, five Northern and four Western, the report says. At the same time there are 115 people recovered from their COVID infections since yesterday, so the active caseload goes down—for the third day in a row. There are currently 1,509 active cases.
“I’m pleased to see that our new case number is a double-digit figure for the first time in more than two weeks,” Nova Scotia premier Iain Rankin says via the report. “Thanks to the sacrifices of Nova Scotians, we’re seeing hopeful signs of a downward trend. However, we must stick with the restrictions and public health measures to stop the spread while we continue to vaccinate more and more Nova Scotians.”
Chief medical officer of health Robert Strang also sees reason for cautious optimism in the report. “Today’s new case number shows that things are heading in the right direction, and the hard work we’re doing is helping to slow the spread,” he says in the report. “We all must continue to follow the public health protocols to bring those numbers down and be in a position to start re-opening in June.”