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8 new coronavirus cases reported in N.S., largest single-day increase since May

Click to play video 'Public health officials want Nova Scotians to use COVID-19 Alert app' Public health officials want Nova Scotians to use COVID-19 Alert app
As case numbers rise across the Maritimes, public health officials are encouraging Nova Scotians to download the federal government’s COVID-19 Alert app. Elizabeth McSheffrey reports, the app has been used with limited success in Nova Scotia – Nov 20, 2020

Nova Scotia is reporting eight new coronavirus cases on Saturday as the number of active cases increased to 33.

It’s the largest single-day case increase in Nova Scotia since May, a detail noted by the province’s top doctor in a press release accompanying the case update.

“It is critical that we all do our part to prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health.

Read more: Nova Scotia strengthens COVID-19 measures for Halifax area, reports 5 new cases

All of the new cases are located in Nova Scotia’s central zone.

Two are connected to previously reported cases and six are under investigation.

“These increasing case numbers tell us we need to follow public health protocols to get back on track, especially in the greater Halifax area,” said Premier Stephen McNeil.

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“We have restrictions and guidelines in place to protect the health of fellow Nova Scotians — limit social contacts, practice social distancing, wear a mask and wash your hands.”

Officials announced a number of new restrictions for the central zone on Friday that are set to come into effect on Monday.

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The goal is to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the region as officials see community transmission in urban and suburban areas in Halifax.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Nova Scotia to close 2 schools after COVID-19 cases reported' Coronavirus: Nova Scotia to close 2 schools after COVID-19 cases reported
Coronavirus: Nova Scotia to close 2 schools after COVID-19 cases reported – Nov 20, 2020

Changes to restrictions in HRM

Effective Monday, all of the HRM except the areas east of Porters Lake to Ecum Secum are subject to the following social gathering regulations:

  • A maximum of five people can gather in a close social group without physical distancing.
  • A household may have more than five members but they may only go outside the home in groups of five.
  • Households can only have a maximum of five visitors at a time.
  • A maximum of 25 people can gather with physical distancing for informal indoor and outdoor social events.
  • Events run by a recognized organization can have 50 per cent of a venue’s capacity to a maximum of 100 people with physical distancing indoors, and 150 with physical distancing outdoors.
Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Nova Scotia officials outline new gathering restrictions' Coronavirus: Nova Scotia officials outline new gathering restrictions
Coronavirus: Nova Scotia officials outline new gathering restrictions – Nov 20, 2020

These restrictions will be in place for at least 28 days, or two 14-day incubation periods.

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The province also announced a plan for asymptomatic testing of all bar staff in Halifax over a seven-day period starting early next week.

COVID-19 recap

The province also announced a number of potential exposure locations in Halifax. More can be found here.

As of Saturday, the province has detected 1,168 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 1,070 of which are considered recovered.

Read more: Halifax Central Library, grocery store, gyms among new possible COVID-19 exposure sites

There have been 65 deaths in the province attributed to the virus.

There is no one currently in the hospital.

The province has completed 128,405 COVID-19 tests since the pandemic began.