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Nova Scotia reports 8 new COVID-19 cases, 3 in university students

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Nova Scotia health officials reported eight new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, three of which are university students.

Of the new cases, three are located in the northern zone and are close contacts of previously reported cases.

Two other cases are in the eastern zone and are related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada, the province said. One of those cases is a student at Cape Breton University who lives off-campus, and the other case is a student at St. Francis Xavier University, who also lives off-campus.

Read more: Nova Scotia provides $25M to help universities impacted by COVID-19

Three of the cases in the central zone are all linked to travel outside of Atlantic Canada. One of the cases is a student at Saint Mary’s University, living on campus.

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“We are seeing the importance of self-isolation and asymptomatic testing, and I want to thank returning university students for following the protocols,” said Premier Stephen McNeil in a news release.

“We will keep our case numbers low and protect each other if we all continue following the public health measures.”

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The total number of active COVID-19 cases in the province, as of Wednesday, is 30.

Nova Scotia Health completed 1,847 tests for the virus the day prior, and 133,428 tests completed since the start of the second wave.

The province has confirmed 453 positive COVID-19 cases and no deaths in the second wave.

As the new semester began in universities, the province rolled out a new testing strategy for out-of-province students returning to Nova Scotia.

Post-secondary students from anywhere except P.E.I. or N.L. are strongly encouraged to book a COVID-19 test for day six, seven or eight of their two-week isolation period.

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N.B. students returning to Nova Scotia facing COVID-19 isolation period – Jan 11, 2021

So far, eight cases have been confirmed among students, including the three reported Wednesday.

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“Thank you to the post-secondary students who have returned to Nova Scotia and are doing their part by self-isolating for the full 14 days,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, said in the release.

“Like all Nova Scotians, students have an opportunity to take advantage of free COVID-19 testing, which can be booked online,” he said.

According to the province, all traveling students who tested positive were “strictly adhering to the public health measures,” to keep their communities safe.