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Nova Scotia reports 1 new case of COVID-19, set to increase long-term care beds

Click to play video: 'Nova Scotia set to increase long-term care beds' Nova Scotia set to increase long-term care beds
WATCH: Nova Scotia announced the first phase of a multi-year plan to invest in long-term care throughout the province in response to COVID-19. Alicia Draus has more – Jan 29, 2021

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.

Read more: Nova Scotia reports no new COVID-19 cases, 11 active cases

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.

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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.

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Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Nova Scotia eases restrictions for sports, arts and culture sector' Coronavirus: Nova Scotia eases restrictions for sports, arts and culture sector
Coronavirus: Nova Scotia eases restrictions for sports, arts and culture sector – Jan 29, 2021

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.

In the meantime, the province is increasing limits to gathering for sports and arts from 50 people to 60 people. This increase will meet operational needs for some sports and does not substantially increase risk.
There are also ongoing discussions around audience members for arts performances, but at this point, anything still must remain virtual as the gathering limits apply only to those directly involved in activity — not audiences. The 60-people limit does not include facility or venue staff, for example, a Zamboni driver, maintenance staff or security staff.
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The province said there were 533 tests administered between Jan. 22 and 28 at the rapid-testing pop-up sites in Halifax and Sydney.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Nova Scotia eases restrictions for sports, arts and culture sector' Coronavirus: Nova Scotia eases restrictions for sports, arts and culture sector
Coronavirus: Nova Scotia eases restrictions for sports, arts and culture sector – Jan 29, 2021

 

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.

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