Three days into the "circuit breaker" lockdown of Halifax and surrounding areas, this stupid disease's circuits don't seem broken at all. Sure, chief medical officer of health Robert Strang has been warning us that case numbers would probably keep rising even after human movement got curtailed, but it still sucks to see the virus setting records for growth.
The province is reporting 63 new cases of COVID-19 today, the highest one-day total Nova Scotia has ever had. Only one patient has recovered since yesterday, so the new infections drive the number of active cases up to 263.
"Fifty-seven cases are in Central Zone, four of which were identified Saturday, April 24, at schools. Caledonia Junior High, Prince Andrew High School and Astral Drive Elementary in Dartmouth, and Citadel High School in Halifax reported one case each," says the province in its daily disease report for Sunday. "Three cases are in Eastern Zone, one of which was identified Saturday, April 24, at Breton Education Centre in New Waterford. Two cases are in Western Zone, and one case is in Northern Zone."
Local labs completed 7,520 local tests yesterday—the second-highest daily total of the pandemic—and like yesterday there are five C19 patients hospitalized across Nova Scotia.
Strankin called a C19 press conference for today, a rare weekend briefing begging speculation about what extra restriction(s) premier Iain Rankin and top doc Robert Strang suddenly need to add to the lockdown measures. The unprecedentedly high number of school cases is the obvious worry, and announcing a schools shutdown on Sunday would prevent students from risking another day of contact/viral transmission on Monday—a strong reason to call an emergency briefing.
But in the event, Strankin didn't close the schools. Their main agenda seemed to be giving voice to anger that was brewing across the province after a bunch of Dalhousie University students had a big party Friday night. Police busted the Jubilee Road party and ticketed 22 people for being part of an illegal gathering, a COVID crime that comes with a $1,000 penalty. If that wasn't enough to enrage a citizenry that was doing its part to obey the five-person lockdown gathering limit, the Dal ding dongs took to social media to brag that $22,000 in fines was #worthit. Strankin responded at the Sunday briefing by raising the fine to $2,000 for future illegal-gathering tickets.
Strang and Rankin also added some restrictions to the rest of the province beyond the Halifax Regional Municipality lockdown area. Community spread of the virus is still only happening around Halifax, and Strankin wants to keep it that way, so until at least May 20 people are not supposed to travel beyond their own community (unless it's for work, school or other essential reasons), and no gatherings of more than 10 people are allowed in the province, indoors or out. (The Halifax gathering limit stays at five people maximum, natch.)
“We are at a very serious crossroads—the virus is spreading and we need to stop it now,” Rankin said in the press release about the new restrictions. “COVID-19 has found its way into every region of our province. This is one step to help stop that but more restrictions may become necessary in the coming days.”
As long as schools stay open to keep building the next generation of Nova Scotia's leaders despite the pandemic, practically any restrictions on movement will be #worthit.
Where Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 cases are on Sunday, April 25
|HEALTH ZONE & NETWORK||NEW CASES||CLOSED CASES||ACTIVE CASES|
|Western zone totals||2 new||0 closed||11 active|
|Central zone totals||57 new||0 closed||210 active|
|Northern zone totals||1 new||0 closed||11 active|
|Eastern zone totals||3 new||1 closed||31 active|
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.