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12 new cases of COVID-19 identified in N.S., nursing home case confirmed

As of Sunday, Nova Scotia has 12 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 122.

At a press briefing, Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, said most are connected to travel or another known case.

“There’s no evidence yet for community spread, but we must be prepared for that,” said Strang.

READ MORE: 2 employees at long-term care homes test positive for COVID-19, N.S. reaches triple digits

The 12 new cases range in age from under 10 to mid-70s. Three individuals are currently in hospital. Seven individuals have recovered and their cases of COVID-19 are considered resolved.

Strang announced that one of the individuals infected is a non-resident at the Magnolia residential care home in Enfield. Residents, their families and staff at the facility have been notified.

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Spike in seniors’ deaths amid COVID-19 outbreak in Ontario long-term care homes
Spike in seniors’ deaths amid COVID-19 outbreak in Ontario long-term care homes

“None of the residents and staff are showing any symptoms. Residents are being grouped and separated from the rest of the facility, and residents are now having their temperature checked twice a day and being closely monitored,” said Strang.

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Two of the cases announced Saturday were also employees at long-term care facilities.

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According to the province, one of them works at the R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home in Antigonish, N.S., and the other at Lewis Hall, a private retirement community in Dartmouth.

Coronavirus outbreak: 12 new cases of COVID-19 identified in N.S., physical distancing measures to be enforced
Coronavirus outbreak: 12 new cases of COVID-19 identified in N.S., physical distancing measures to be enforced

“We don’t have cases 80 and above and that’s good because the older population are more vulnerable,” said Strang.

He also noted that not everybody is practising social distancing or staying at home.

Vital importance of physical distancing during COVID-19 pandemic
Vital importance of physical distancing during COVID-19 pandemic

“I am still hearing stories of people driving to our parks and beaches – even though they are closed. Grocery stores packed, groups out playing sports,” said Premier McNeil in a press release on Sunday.

“These people are the reckless few and not only are Dr. Strang and I upset with them, their fellow Nova Scotians are upset with them. To those reckless few: if you won’t do your part to keep physical distance to help flatten the curve, police will do it for you.”

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McNeil says he has called Justice Minister Mark Furey and asked him to direct law enforcement to escalate their efforts from education to enforcement.

“Ticket and towing if necessary. I had hoped it wouldn’t come to this,” McNeil said.

To date, Nova Scotia has 4,731 negative test results.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

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For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.