N.S. reports 8 new COVID-19 cases; three more post-secondary students test positive

HALIFAX —
Nova Scotia is reporting eight new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bumping the number of active cases in the province to 30.

Five of the previously reported cases are now considered resolved, according to the province’s online dashboard.

Of the new cases reported Wednesday, three are in the Northern Zone and are close contacts of previously reported cases.

Two of the cases are in the Eastern Zone and are related to travel outside Atlantic Canada. One of these cases is a student from Cape Breton University in Sydney, N.S. The other new positive case is a student at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S. Both individuals live off-campus, and are self-isolating as required.

Three of the new cases are in the Central Zone and are also related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada. Public health officials say the people are self-isolating, as required. One of the cases is a student at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax who lives on campus.

“We are seeing the importance of self-isolation and asymptomatic testing, and I want to thank returning university students for following the protocols,” said Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil. “We will keep our case numbers low and protect each other if we all continue following the public health measures.”

St. Francis Xavier University confirms third positive case

There are now three students at St. Francis Xavier University who have tested positive for COVID-19.

The university, located in Antigonish, N.S., in the province’s Eastern zone, confirmed the latest case in a Facebook post on Wednesday afternoon.

“The student has been properly isolating since arriving in Antigonish and recently returned to Antigonish by travelling from outside Atlantic Canada before beginning isolation in off-campus accommodation,” said the post signed by Andy Hakin, president and vice chancellor of the university.

Students at St. Francis Xavier had previously tested positive on Jan. 5, and Jan 3.

St. FX had been holding most of its classes in-person throughout the pandemic, but has delayed the start of in-person classes to Jan. 25 to allow students returning from outside the province to complete their 14-day quarantine.

The president and vice-chancellor of Cape Breton University also confirmed a positive case of the virus in one of their students in a news release posted to their website Tuesday evening.

According to the university, the student arrived on Jan. 5 and has been self-isolating off-campus as required ever since.

 “It was during this isolation time the student chose to participate in asymptomatic testing, which we now know produced a positive result. The student continues to isolate with the proper health, mental health, and academic resources in place as an efficient support system,” said Dingwall.

A positive case was confirmed at Halifax’s Saint Mary’s University through a news release on their website. The school says the case is travel related and the student is self-isolating as required.

“They have been in self-isolation since their arrival, and they will continue to self-isolate. The procedures we have put in place to protect our community are being followed,” said Michelle Benoit, the university’s vice-president. 

“Thank you to the post-secondary students who have returned to Nova Scotia and are doing their part by self-isolating for the full 14 days,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. “Like all Nova Scotians, students have an opportunity to take advantage of free COVID-19 testing, which can be booked online. So far, we have identified eight cases among post-secondary students, all of whom were strictly adhering to the public health measures that are in place to keep our communities safe.”

On Monday, both Dalhousie University and Acadia University confirmed positive cases related to students who had returned to the university.

Post-secondary students returning to Nova Scotia from anywhere except Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador are strongly encouraged to book a COVID-19 test for day six, seven, or eight of their 14-day self-isolation period. COVID-19 testing appointments can be booked up to three days in advance.

N.S. COVID-19 DATA

The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 1,847 tests on Tuesday.

Since Oct. 1, Nova Scotia has completed 133,428 tests. There have been 453 positive COVID-19 cases and no deaths. No one is currently in hospital. Cases range in age from under 10 to over 70. Four hundred and twenty-three cases are now resolved.

Since the pandemic began, Nova Scotia has completed 256,606 tests. Cumulatively, there have been 1,542 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 65 total deaths.

There is currently no one in hospital due to COVID-19.

The province’s confirmed cases range in age from under 10 to over 90.

Fifty-five per cent of cases are female, and 45 per cent are male.

There are cases confirmed across the province, but most have been identified in the Central Zone, which contains the Halifax Regional Municipality.

The provincial government says cumulative cases by zone may change as data is updated in Panorama, the province’s electronic information system.

The numbers reflect where a person lives and not where their sample was collected.

  • Western Zone: 89 cases
  • Central Zone: 1262 cases
  • Northern Zone: 117 cases
  • Eastern Zone: 74 cases

The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, has been extended to Jan. 24, 2021.

COVID ALERT APP

Canada’s COVID-19 Alert app is available in Nova Scotia.

The app, which can be downloaded through the Apple App Store or Google Play, notifies users if they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

LIST OF SYMPTOMS

Anyone who experiences a fever or new or worsening cough, or two or more of the following new or worsening symptoms, is encouraged to take an online test or call 811 to determine if they need to be tested for COVID-19:

  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose/nasal congestion