Nova Scotia reports 7 new COVID cases, including case at long-term care facility

Testing rates in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have sharply diverged, particularly as an outbreak in Nova Scotia has pushed testing to record levels. The Canadian Press/Andrew Vaughan

Nova Scotia health officials reported seven new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and said 49 cases remain active in the province.

The new cases include three cases related to travel in the eastern zone and four in the central zone. Two of the central zone cases are close contacts of previously reported cases, one is related to international travel and one remains under investigation.

The province says one of the central zone cases is a second staff member who tested positive at Glasgow Hall, a long-term care facility in Dartmouth.

“As a precaution, residents are being isolated and cared for in their rooms and the facility is closed to visitors and designated caregivers,” said the province.

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According to the release, all residents have been tested for COVID-19. Staff who were close contacts of the two confirmed case were also tested yesterday, and other staff will be tested on Sunday.

“Most residents of this facility have been fully vaccinated with two doses of COVID-19 vaccine,” said the release.

“All the right steps are being taken to contain this outbreak for the safety of residents and staff at Glasgow Hall,” said Premier Iain Rankin in the release.

“As we continue to fight this virus and variant strains, it’s more important than ever that Nova Scotians remain vigilant, follow all public health measures, and get vaccinated as soon as it’s their turn.”

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Nova Scotia Health confirmed another health care worker in the Halifax area had recently tested positive for COVID-19.

In a brief interview Sunday, Wendy Walters said eight co-workers were also self isolating as a result of the positive finding.

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Walters said public health officials were still investigating the case.

She would not discuss any other details, including where the health care worker is employed, citing privacy concerns.

“The challenge of this case is that it is one (case) and the employee is protected under their personal health information,” said Walters.

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The province also says 22 new variant cases have been confirmed in the province, including the confirmation of variant P.1, first detected in Brazil. These cases are unrelated to the ones reported on Sunday.

“This is the first time the Brazilian variant has been detected in the province,” said the province.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Nova Scotia reports 1 death and 6 new COVID-19 cases'
Coronavirus: Nova Scotia reports 1 death and 6 new COVID-19 cases

The variant case breakdown in Nova Scotia is as follows:

  • B.1.17 variant (U.K.): 63 cases confirmed
  • B.1.351 variant (South African): 12 cases confirmed
  • P.1 variant (Brazil): 1 case confirmed

“While more of our cases have been confirmed as variants, it is a good sign that these cases are mainly due to travel,” said Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health.

“We are detecting them through testing and containing them before they can spread widely.”

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There are 49 active cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia as of Sunday.

The province has not seen this many active cases since Dec. 17, when 50 were reported.

Nova Scotia Health completed 2,052 tests for COVID-19 on Saturday, for a total of 343,244 tests since the start of the second wave on Oct. 1.

There have been 718 positive COVID-19 cases and two deaths in the province in the second wave of the pandemic.

Case confirmed at liquor store

In a Sunday morning tweet, the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation said a positive case of COVID-19 was confirmed at the Joe Howe store in Halifax.

NSLC said the store has closed for the day as it awaits public health advice.

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Also, Pleasant Street Diner posted on their Facebook account on Saturday afternoon that they are shutting down after a close contact of a staff member tested positive.

“He is asymptomatic as are all of us,” the Dartmouth diner’s first post read.

On Sunday morning, the diner posted it will remain closed on Sunday.

“We will be closed again today, with the hopes of opening Tuesday as we get our results. We will keep everyone posted as soon as possible.”

— With a file from The Canadian Press

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