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COVID-19: N.S. reporting nearly 700 new lab-confirmed cases, students set to return to schools

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There are 68 people currently in hospital in Nova Scotia who were admitted due to COVID-19, with 10 people in ICU as of Sunday.

That number is up from the 58 admissions reported Saturday, while the number of patients in intensive care remains the same at 10.

There is no word on the number of people who have been discharged from hospital after being sick with an infection.

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In a news release, the province said the age range of those in hospital is 0 to 100, with an average age of 65. The province first confirmed a child under the age of five was in hospital with COVID-19 four days ago.

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The province said there are an additional 172 people in hospital who have tested positive. They include:

  • 60 people who were identified as positive upon arrival at hospital but were admitted for another medical reason, or were admitted for COVID-19 but no longer require specialized care
  • 112 people who contracted COVID-19 after being admitted to hospital.

Nova Scotia Health Authority completed 3,711 tests Saturday and confirmed 696 new cases of COVID-19 based on PCR testing.

There were 447 cases in Central Zone, 108 cases in Eastern Zone, 105 cases in Western Zone and 36 cases in Northern Zone.

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Meanwhile, students in the province are scheduled to resume in-person classes on Monday, after a week of online learning.

Nova Scotia is the only Atlantic Canadian province where students are heading back to schools.

New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and P.E.I. students are all scheduled to continue remote learning for at least one more week.

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Nova Scotia has already said it will no longer conduct contact tracing in school settings. 

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During the province’s last COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday, Premier Tim Houston said HEPA ventilation systems for 71 schools that required them will be in place by the first day of school and students would receive new three-ply cloth masks.

The province released photos of the classroom preparations, which included masks on desks and filtration systems plugged in.

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Houston told reporters schools are the best place for children, but added that outbreaks and interruptions are expected.

“Our schools are safe, we’ll move forward. I think we’ve shown that where necessary to close a school, we will,” he said.

“If there’s operational issues or issues with outbreaks, we will take steps to close schools. And we expect that that will have to happen.”

A HEPA filtration system in a classroom at John MacNeil Elementary in Dartmouth is shown in a photo provided by Communications Nova Scotia. Provided/ Communications Nova Scotia

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