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Nova Scotia reports 5 new cases of COVID-19, 1 probable connected to a school

Click to play video: 'Nova Scotia says no changes to border rules as N.B. deals with COVID outbreak' Nova Scotia says no changes to border rules as N.B. deals with COVID outbreak
WATCH: As COVID-19 case numbers in Nova Scotia remain steady, New Brunswick is seeing a spike in cases. But, with outbreak largely restricted to the northern part of the province, officials in Nova Scotia say there's no need to close our borders again just yet. Alicia Draus reports. – Mar 26, 2021

Nova Scotia reported five new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, as well as a probable case connected to Sackville Heights Junior High School.

The cases are in the central zone. Two of the cases are under investigation. According to the province, the other three cases are close contacts of previously reported cases, one of which was the case identified Thursday at Millwood High School in Middle Sackville.

In addition to these new cases, the probable case at Sackville Heights Junior High School in Lower Sackville was identified Friday. The case is connected to a previously reported case.

Read more: N.S. identifies coronavirus case connected to Millwood High School as province reports 3 new cases

“Based on public health assessment, the probable case is being treated as though it is a lab-confirmed positive to ensure all precautions are taken,” the province said in a statement.

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The person was not in school Friday and is self-isolating. The province said the school will close to allow for deep cleaning, testing and contact tracing, and is expected to reopen to students on Thursday, April 1.

Students will learn from home during the closure and families connected to the school will receive an update on Wednesday, March 31.

Nova Scotia’s border policy with New Brunswick

After New Brunswick health officials moved the Edmundston region back to the red alert level of COVID-19 recovery, Nova Scotia advised against non-essential travel to that area.

Premier Iain Rankin said at a COVID-19 briefing on Friday that the province is closely monitoring the situation and will close the border again if needed.

In the meantime, Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s top doctor, said the cases are isolated to New Brunswick’s Edmundston region, so there is no reason to close the border at this time.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia says no change to border policy as N.B. reports increased COVID-19 cases

“If the outbreak starts to move into other parts of New Brunswick or I feel the situation is getting worse and Nova Scotians are at increased risk I’ll not hesitate to make a recommendation to the premier to reinstate the 14-day quarantine for people coming from New Brunswick,” said Strang.

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“Nova Scotia remains in a very safe, but privileged position. We cannot forget what is happening around us and how quickly our situation can change,” he added.

He also noted that testing remains an important tool and defense against COVID-19, and encouraged people to make testing part of their regular routine.

Vaccination rollout 

Strang said Friday that the province is now moving down to the 75-79 age group for vaccination, but people over 80 can still book an appointment if they haven’t done so already.

More than 20,000 doses have gone into arms in the last four days, Strang said, adding that by mid-May the province will be able to deliver up to 86,000 doses a week.

As of March 25, 83,148 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Of those, 23,662 Nova Scotians have received their second dose.

From now until mid-June, Strang said, he’s expecting the province to move down in vaccine-eligible age groups every week.“We built a good vaccine program and we’re getting fast,” said Strang.
Click to play video: 'Nova Scotia’s top doctor not concerned province is farthest behind in vaccination rollout' Nova Scotia’s top doctor not concerned province is farthest behind in vaccination rollout
Nova Scotia’s top doctor not concerned province is farthest behind in vaccination rollout – Mar 22, 2021

He said there are appointments across the province in pharmacies and doctors’ offices, and that they will continue to add appointments as they receive more shipments.

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In the meantime, a shipment of Modern originally expected for next week has been delayed a week or two. This is why appointments will only be made available for the limited supply the province has. Appointments will not be cancelled due to shipment delays, Strang said.

Read more: Canada confirms delayed Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses will arrive next week


The province is also getting around 38,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines, but the exact timeframe of when those will be delivered is still unclear.According to Strang, those vaccines will first be offered to people 60-64 years old who were not able to book during the first supply.
Click to play video: 'Nova Scotia reveals projected dates by age group to get COVID-19 vaccine' Nova Scotia reveals projected dates by age group to get COVID-19 vaccine
Nova Scotia reveals projected dates by age group to get COVID-19 vaccine – Mar 23, 2021

As of Friday, Nova Scotia has 27 active cases of COVID-19.

Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 2,846 Nova Scotia tests on March 25.

The province said there were 993 tests administered from March 19-22 at the rapid-testing pop-up sites in Halifax, New Glasgow and Liverpool.

Since Oct. 1, Nova Scotia has completed 289,822 tests. There have been 615 positive COVID-19 cases and one death.

No one is in hospital. There are 587 resolved cases.

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