Nova Scotians who received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine on or before April 10 can now reschedule their appointments for earlier dates, the province announced Wednesday.
Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang, said that the province is expecting a large Moderna vaccine shipment at the end of June.
Strang said the province might have “even more flexibility” in its vaccine rollout once that new shipment arrives.
When rescheduling the second dose, the province said people will select a new date and time at any clinic across the province that has an available appointment. They will also be able to select a different vaccine for their second dose.
Nova Scotia reported 13 new cases of COVID-19 and one additional case connected to Citadel High School in Halifax.
The person was not in school Wednesday.
The province said that because the case came in after the cut-off for reporting, it will not appear on the COVID-19 data dashboard until Thursday.
In the meantime, the school will close to students until next Monday to allow for testing of close contacts and a deep cleaning of the school.
Students will learn from home during the closure beginning Thursday. Families and students will receive an update before June 14.
Out of the 13 cases reported, six new cases are in Eastern Zone. Three of the cases are close contacts of previously-reported cases. Two are related to travel and one is under investigation.
As of Wednesday, Nova Scotia has 164 active cases of COVID-19. Of those, 15 people are in hospital COVID-19 units, including seven in ICU.
As of June 8, 647,604 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Of those, 45,372 Nova Scotians have received their second dose.
Since April 1, there have been 3,965 positive COVID-19 cases and 22 deaths.
Easing visitor restrictions at hospitals
As COVID-19 cases continue to drop, Nova Scotia Health announced that it will begin easing visitor restrictions in phases at its facilities beginning on Wednesday.
During Phase 1, Nova Scotia Health said it will allow two family or support people to visit patients in ICUs, to visit critically-ill patients in the emergency department, and to attend labour and births.
During Phase 2, scheduled to begin on June 16, visitor restrictions will ease further to allow:
- one designated family or support person for all inpatients
- one designated family or support person for patients in emergency departments
- three designated support people at a time for palliative patients and others nearing the end of their lives
During Phase 3, starting on June 30, restrictions would ease further to allow two designated family or support persons for inpatients and four designated support people at a time for palliative patients and others nearing the end of their lives.
The fourth and final phase of easing restrictions will start when the province moves to Phase 4 of the reopening plan. In this case, one designated family or support person will be allowed for ambulatory appointments.
“The phased approach will align with the timing of Nova Scotia’s reopening plan and consider several factors including COVID-19 cases, number of hospital and ICU admissions and vaccination rates,” said Nova Scotia Health in an email.
“The easing of visitor restrictions will happen in phases, with each phase expected to last two and four weeks.”