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Nova Scotia reports 426 new cases of COVID-19, another record

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Nova Scotia’s top doctor, premier warn of high case counts in the days ahead amid Omicron' COVID-19: Nova Scotia’s top doctor, premier warn of high case counts in the days ahead amid Omicron
WATCH: Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang and Premier Tim Housten warned on Friday of high COVID-19 case counts in the days ahead as the Omicron variant spreads in the province. Nova Scotia reported 394 new cases on Friday – Dec 17, 2021

For the third day in a row, Nova Scotia has reported record COVID-19 numbers with 426 new cases announced Saturday.

In a release, the province said there were 296 cases in the Central Zone, 70 cases in the Eastern Zone, 35 cases in the Northern Zone and 25 cases in the Western Zone.

Nova Scotia Health labs completed 8,996 tests on Friday.

Read more: N.S. sets another daily COVID-19 record with 394 cases, St. FX fined

Due to delays with data entry into Panorama — Public Health’s case management system — the number of positive cases released Saturday were lab results, not Panorama results. The provincial COVID-19 dashboard is not updated on weekends.

The abbreviated release did not include an update on active cases or hospitalizations. As of Friday, there were seven people in hospital, including two in ICU.

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On Friday, chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang said while Omicron is spreading faster and easier compared to previous COVID-19 variants, the majority of people who have tested positive are experiencing mild illness.

Read more: Omicron FAQ: Everything you need to know about the COVID-19 variant

As of 9 a.m. Friday, a number of new restrictions went into effect which include physical distancing of two metres (six feet) to be required indoors and outdoors, except among people in the same household or a consistent social group of up to 20 people.

There’s also gathering limits of 50 per cent of capacity to a maximum of 150 people indoors and 250 outdoors applicable to social gatherings, regular faith services, weddings, funerals and their associated receptions and visitation. The limit also applies to special events, meetings, training, festivals, and audiences for sports events and arts and culture events (like performances and movie theatres) that are hosted by a recognized business or organization, including faith organizations.

Also on Friday, Premier Tim Houston announced a sector impact support program that’s meant to directly assist businesses most impacted via a one-time grant of up to $7,500.

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