N.S. reports 10 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, mobile testing units made available

Click to play video 'N.S. top doctor says province will take more aggressive approach to COVID-19 testing' N.S. top doctor says province will take more aggressive approach to COVID-19 testing
WATCH: Dr. Robert Strang says the Nova Scotia will take a more aggressive approach to testing along with increasing its list of asymptomatic pop-up testing sites; healthcare teams will be going mobile. Jesse Thomas has more – Dec 1, 2020

Nova Scotia reported 10 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and said the province now has 142 active cases.

According to the province, all new cases are in the Central Zone.

On Monday, there were 275 coronavirus tests administered at the rapid-testing pop-up site in Halifax and 585 tests administered at the rapid-testing pop-up site in Wolfville.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Nova Scotia announces COVID-19 mobile testing units' Coronavirus: Nova Scotia announces COVID-19 mobile testing units
Coronavirus: Nova Scotia announces COVID-19 mobile testing units – Dec 1, 2020

There were no positive test results identified at either site, health officials said.

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Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 4,138 Nova Scotia tests the day before.

The province also announced that two mobile testing units are now operational to support more COVID-19 testing in communities that need it.

Read more: Potential exposure to COVID-19 reported at 2 new locations in Halifax

“Getting these mobile units up and running is another part of our enhanced testing strategy to help us detect cases as early as possible and slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Premier Stephen McNeil.

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“Our testing strategy is about tracking, tracing and containing this virus, and I thank Nova Scotians for pulling together to support public health in this work.”

Click to play video 'COVID-19 rapid testing held in Wolfville after wastewater research' COVID-19 rapid testing held in Wolfville after wastewater research
COVID-19 rapid testing held in Wolfville after wastewater research – Nov 30, 2020

According to the province, the mobile units are vans that can travel to a community or setting. They are staffed by public health team members trained in testing and investigation processes, such as public health nurses.

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“The mobile units will be deployed to specific locations based on the epidemiology needs in the province. When they are deployed, public health will work with community partners to notify people about who should get tested, when and how,” the province said in a press release.

As of Tuesday, Nova Scotia said the mobile units’ first job is to support testing at Northeast Kings Education Centre in Canning, Kings County, in the Western Zone.

Read more: Coronavirus — Quebec Major Junior Hockey League calls off games until January

Public health said it is contacting people who should be tested and setting appointments for Dec. 2. No drop-ins will be accepted.

Health officials also noted that the aim of this testing is to better understand transmission, given that there may be close contacts of previously identified cases at this school.

“The Nova Scotia Health Authority has done a tremendous job to get these mobile units in place in a very short period of time to better support testing in communities and I thank them for this work,” said Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health.

“These mobile units are another tool in our toolbox to target our testing in places and situations where it is needed to help public health investigate and manage cases and help prevent further spread.”

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Testing health-care workers in long-term care homes

At the briefing, Strang said that another another asymptomatic testing initiative is underway for health-care workers in long-term care to be tested.

So far, 250 people have been tested at Northwood, St. Vincent’s, and Oceanview, according to Strang.

In the meantime, a new restriction is coming into place, with Strang saying that they’ll be reducing the number of designated patient caregivers from two to one at long-term care facilities.

Strang said that if it wasn’t for COVID-19 restrictions being implemented in HRM last Thursday, the province would have experienced a larger spike in cases.

As for lifting the current restrictions or increasing the restrictions, Strang said they’ll be looking at that in closer detail around this time next week.

Since Oct. 1, Nova Scotia said it has completed 66,263 tests. There have been 226 positive COVID-19 cases and no deaths.

No one is currently in hospital. Eighty-four cases are now resolved.

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The briefing will be streamed live on the Global News website.