Nova Scotia reported 37 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, the lowest number of new cases in the province in more than a month.
The last time there were less than 40 new cases of COVID-19 was on April 22.
The new cases include 22 in the central zone, 11 in the eastern health zone and four in the northern zone. The number of active cases has fallen to 787.
The province notes there is “still community spread” in central zone and “limited community spread” in Sydney.
Meanwhile, the number of hospitalizations remains at 72, with 19 people in ICU.
While the lower case counts are a welcome change from the triple-digit daily numbers seen earlier this month, the number of tests being done is also declining.
Nova Scotia Health labs completed 5,023 tests on Tuesday.
So far, 521,053 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the province. Of those, 42,205 people have received their second dose.
“Nova Scotians are eager to get back to doing the things they love,” said Premier Iain Rankin in a news release.
“The quickest way to do this is by following the public health measures, getting tested regularly, and booking your COVID-19 vaccine appointment when it is your turn. Together we can slow the spread of the virus.”
The province’s chief medical officer of health added he is pleased to see the vaccine rollout is now ahead of schedule, and echoed the encouragement for people to book their appointments.
“The sooner we get to population immunity, the sooner we get to our new normal,” said Dr. Robert Strang, in the release.
Outbreak at Halifax Infirmary contained
Health officials say the COVID-19 outbreak at the Halifax Infirmary has been contained, after 20 patients in the orthopedic unit tested positive for the virus, along with seven staff members in the unit and five support staff at the hospital.
It appears the outbreak was contained to the orthopedic unit, which was closed temporarily and has since reopened, confirmed Nova Scotia Health spokesperson Brendan Elliott.
As a result of the outbreak at the Halifax Infirmary, Nova Scotia Health tested all patients at metro-area hospitals — including the Victoria General, Dartmouth General Hospital and the Nova Scotia Rehabilitation Centre –to identify any potential spread.
“We tested every single patient and the good news, they all came back negative for COVID-19,” said Elliott.
There’s still no indication of how the outbreak started and that remains under investigation. It is possible the cause may never be known, according to Elliott.
“We’re in the middle of a 14-day incubation period, where patients and staff have tested positive. It was exactly two weeks ago when we had our first staff member confirm positive for COVID, so we are watching the situation very closely,” he said.
“We could see one or two new cases pop up. That wouldn’t be uncommon because we are still in that 14-day incubation period.”
— With files from Rebecca Lau and Jesse Thomas