Nova Scotia reported one new case of COVID-19 on Friday and said nine active cases remain in the province.
According to Public Health, the case is in Eastern Zone and is related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada.
The person is self-isolating, as required, health officials said.
Despite the current low numbers, Premier Stephen McNeil said at the COVID-19 briefing on Friday that Nova Scotians can’t become complacent.
He said he doesn’t want what happened to Northwood to happen again. With that in mind, he announced an investment to increase long-term care beds in the Central Zone.
The province said they’ll be adding 236 beds, including 44 to Northwood. The other 192 beds will be determined through the tender process.
The plan also includes replacing or significantly renovating seven nursing homes across the province.
“When our loved ones are ready for long-term care, they deserve to have high-quality care in a safe and comfortable environment,” said McNeil in a statement. “We are investing in the long-term care system to better meet the needs of residents, their families and staff.”
During the ongoing review of long-term care facilities, the province said seven nursing homes have been identified for immediate work based on their overall condition and best practices in infection prevention and control:
- Northwood, Halifax
- The Birches, Musquodoboit Harbour
- Shoreham Village, Chester
- Mountain Lea Lodge, Bridgetown
- Grand View Manor, Berwick
- R.C. MacGillivray Guest Home, Sydney
- Foyer Pere Fiset, Chéticamp
The existing building at the Northwood Halifax Campus will be maintained.
According to the province, 100 beds that had been removed to create single rooms as recommended in the review of the COVID-19 outbreak at the facility will be established at a new location, plus an additional 44 beds.
The other facilities will be replaced or undergo a major renovation. The first project is anticipated to be completed by 2024-25, the province noted.
The Long-Term Care Infrastructure Plan also increases the annual budget for capital repairs and equipment upgrades available to all facilities. The new budget is $10.5 million annually, an increase of $8 million.
Nova Scotia’s top doctor, Dr. Robert Strang, who was also at the COVID-19 briefing, said the province’s cases now are in the single digits, which is “great news,” however people must continue with their cautious approach.
As of Friday, 14,589 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Of those, 2,714 Nova Scotians have received their second dose.
The province said there were 533 tests administered between Jan. 22 and 28 at the rapid-testing pop-up sites in Halifax and Sydney.
Nova Scotia has completed 282,050 COVID-19 tests and 65 people have died since the pandemic began.
One person is currently in hospital. Four hundred and seventy-nine cases are now resolved.
Post-secondary students returning to Nova Scotia from anywhere except Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador are strongly being encouraged to visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/ to book a COVID-19 test for day six, seven or eight of their 14-day self-isolation period.
COVID-19 testing appointments can be booked up to three days in advance.