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COVID-19: N.S. reports 129 new cases as St. FX outbreak continues

Click to play video: 'COVID-19 outbreak at St. FX at 114 total cases after 55 new infections reported: N.S. top doctor' COVID-19 outbreak at St. FX at 114 total cases after 55 new infections reported: N.S. top doctor
WATCH: Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang said Friday that there had been 55 new cases of COVID-19 reported that are attributable to the outbreak at St. Francis Xavier University, bringing the total number to 114. – Dec 10, 2021

Nova Scotia reported 129 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday.

The province, which normally doesn’t issue COVID-19 numbers on weekends, said it was issuing an “abbreviated” COVID-19 release Saturday and Sunday. The online dashboard will not be updated.

It is unclear how many of the cases are related to the ongoing outbreak at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, which stems from graduation events. As of Friday, there were 114 cases associated with the outbreak.

Read more: St. FX president apologizes, school cancels in-person exams amid growing COVID-19 outbreak

The release said there are 64 new cases in the Central Zone, 52 in the Eastern Zone (where the university is located), 10 in the Northern Zone and three in the Western Zone.

Due to the St. Francis Xavier University outbreak, the province said Saturday’s positive case results are lab results, and not from Panorama, Nova Scotia’s public health reporting system.

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“Public health notes that some cases associated with this outbreak are being counted in Central Zone because of the address on the student’s health card. That is why not all of these cases are reflected in the Eastern Zone numbers,” it said.

“Those infected in the outbreak are experiencing relatively mild symptoms and the cases are mostly young people who are fully vaccinated.”

Read more: COVID-19: N.S. daily case count soars above 120 as St. FX outbreak grows

Nova Scotia Health labs completed 3,865 tests on Friday.

“Because of the spike in testing and positive cases, public health is experiencing some delays in follow-up,” the release said.

“People whose lab test is positive will continue to have received an initial contact from public health within 24 hours and they will be provided information on required isolation and testing plus asked to contact their close contacts.”

On Friday, the province said due to the outbreak, all close contacts, including those who are fully vaccinated, need to isolate until they have a negative result from a lab-based (PCR) test. The lab test should be performed at least 72 hours after the exposure.

Testing has been increased in the Antigonish area due to the outbreak. The Public Health Mobile Unit will be available for booked appointments and drop-ins at the following location:

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St. FX University – Keating Centre (1100 Convocation Blvd., Antigonish)

  • Saturday, Dec. 11 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 12 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

As well, Nova Scotia Health opened the Antigonish COVID-19 Testing Centre to asymptomatic testing for community members who do not have symptoms. The centre, located at the Antigonish Market Square at 149 Church St., Unit 686, will be ​open Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“It is important that people who test positive with a rapid test self-isolate and get a lab test regardless of vaccination status,” the release said. “If that confirmatory test is negative, they may stop isolating if they have no symptoms. If they have symptoms and the PCR test is negative, they should repeat the test.”

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