Nova Scotia reported 22 new COVID-19 deaths in its latest weekly update.
There were also 77 new hospitalizations for complications with the virus in the seven-day period ending May 2.
As of Wednesday, 66 hospitalizations remain active, of which 17 are in ICU.
The province said in a release on Thursday the median age of those hospitalized with COVID-19 is 71, while the median age of reported deaths from the virus is 81.
From April 26 to May 2, public health recorded 3,415 new PCR-confirmed cases — an average of 487 new cases a day.
In the release, the province said there’s been a continued decrease in lab-confirmed cases since the peak of the sixth wave in early April.
“It is encouraging to see the number of new PCR-confirmed infections decline again this week,” said chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang in the release. “That said, our numbers are still high.”
In a Thursday afternoon presser, Strang said there are “early signs of stabilization,” when it comes to hospitalizations, but people are still getting sick.
“We’re now, like the rest of Canada, seeing a rise in other respiratory viruses,” he told reporters, adding influenza is popping up late this year.
Strang said Nova Scotians should still adhere to public health guidance, including wearing a mask, distancing, washing hands, and staying at home when sick.
“It’s not just about protecting yourself, it’s about protecting those around you,” he said.
The top doctor said masking continues to be a recommendation to the public, but said decisions on bringing the mandate back are made by the provincial government. “Advice within government is confidential,” said Strang.
In addition, the province said more than 29,000 residents over the age of 70 have received a second booster dose, or fourth shot, of the COVID-19 vaccine since they became available in the last week of April.
The province noted in its update that individuals aged 70 and up are at 10 times higher risk of hospitalization compared to those under 50. The risk of death for those aged 70 and older is 95 times higher.
Strang said in the presser it is important for older residents to stay up to date on their vaccines.
“Get a booster dose as soon as you’re eligible to get one,” he said.
To date, 65 per cent of eligible Nova Scotians have received at least three doses and 87.8 have received at least two. About 4.7 per cent have received just one dose and 7.5 per cent remain unvaccinated.