7 cases of COVID-19 reported in Nova Scotia Sunday

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A woman gets a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Toronto last month. Seven new cases were reported in N.S. on Sunday. There is also confirmation of a case of the variant first detected in Brazil. (Sam Nar/CBC - image credit)
A woman gets a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Toronto last month. Seven new cases were reported in N.S. on Sunday. There is also confirmation of a case of the variant first detected in Brazil. (Sam Nar/CBC - image credit)

Nova Scotia reported seven new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, including a second staff member at a long-term care facility in Dartmouth.

There are now 49 active cases of the virus in the province.

Three of the new cases are in the eastern health zone and are related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada, according to a release from the province.

Four others are in the central zone. Two of these are close contacts of previously reported cases, one is related to international travel, and one is under investigation.

Cases at elementary schools

Late Sunday, Public Health issued a release about a case connected to the South Woodside Elementary School in Dartmouth, and later another release about a case connected to St. Joseph's-Alexander McKay Elementary School in Halifax.

All students and staff at the schools are being asked to get tested out of "an abundance of caution." They don't need to self-isolate unless they're experiencing symptoms or are identified as close contacts.

Public Health will be in touch directly with close contacts of the case, who will be asked to get tested and self-isolate for 14 days.

The schools will both close and students will learn from home until Thursday, the release said. A deep cleaning will take place during that time.

These two cases will be included in Monday's COVID-19 case-count update.

Glasgow Hall testing staff

One of the close-contact cases in the central zone is a second staff member at Glasgow Hall, a long-term care facility in Dartmouth run by Shannex.

The first staff member to test positive was reported on Saturday.

"All the right steps are being taken to contain this outbreak for the safety of residents and staff at Glasgow Hall," Premier Iain Rankin said in the release

"As we continue to fight this virus and variant strains, it's more important than ever that Nova Scotians remain vigilant, follow all public health measures, and get vaccinated as soon as it's their turn."

Residents are being isolated and cared for in their rooms and the facility is closed to visitors and designated caregivers, the province said.

All residents have been tested. Testing was completed Saturday for all staff who are close contacts of the two staff members who tested positive, while all other staff will be tested by Sunday.

In a release Sunday, Shannex said that the test results so far for their residents are negative, but not all the results are back.

Residents will remain under isolation precautions, and Shannex said it will work with Public Health to determine "if and when" retesting can take place for residents and employees.

Most residents of the facility are fully vaccinated with two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, the province said, while work is underway to support any remaining residents and staff who wish to be vaccinated.

When asked about whether the person who tested positive had been vaccinated, the province said they could not share details about cases for privacy reasons.

Gill Costello, Shannex spokesperson, said in an email Sunday that they also could not speak to specific employee matters.

When asked if the company could confirm an estimate or percentage, Costello said "almost all residents" at Glasgow Hall have been vaccinated, as well as "the majority" of staff.

"We are hopeful this situation helps people see this virus is still in our communities and we must continue to follow public health guidelines and consider getting vaccinated," Costello said.

Nova Scotia Health confirms positive case

Nova Scotia's health authority confirmed Sunday that one of its health-care workers in the central zone has tested positive for COVID-19.

As a result of this case, eight other health-care workers are in isolation, authority spokesperson Wendy Walters said in an email.

Walters said the health authority cannot share details about the worker's role or location for privacy reasons.

This case was reported last week, Walters said, and is not among the new cases Sunday.

As with any case investigation, Walters said contact tracing, testing and isolation of close contacts has taken place.

N.S. has first case of variant first detected in Brazil

Unrelated to Sunday's cases, Nova Scotia is now reporting 22 new variant cases — 19 United Kingdom, two South African, and one Brazilian.

This is the first time the variant first detected in Brazil has been detected in the province, the release said.

There have been 63 cases of the variant first detected in the U.K. and 12 cases of the variant first detected in South Africa.

"While more of our cases have been confirmed as variants, it is a good sign that these cases are mainly due to travel. We are detecting them through testing and containing them before they can spread widely within Nova Scotia," Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, said in the release.

The Nova Scotia Health labs completed 2,052 tests on Saturday. Two people are in hospital.

The NSLC also tweeted about a new case related to their location on Joseph Howe Drive in Halifax.

Rankin considering how to help Ontario

Premier Iain Rankin spoke with Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Sunday morning about the difficult COVID-19 situation in that province, which followed a call Saturday with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and two other Atlantic premiers.

Revised modelling suggests Ontario could see up to 18,000 daily cases by the end of May.

Nova Scotia isn't in a position to reallocate vaccines, according to Rankin. But he said in a statement on Sunday that he's asked provincial officials "to consider what resources we are able to provide" while continuing to keep Nova Scotians safe.

Rankin spoke with reporters in Nova Scotia on Sunday about the call with Trudeau, saying the prime minister offered to help offset any costs for transportation if the provinces could send people or equipment.

"We are going to continue to look at the Department of Health and see what resources we could make available," he said.

When asked whether Nova Scotia was in a position to send medical teams, Rankin said: "I wouldn't say teams." But he added the government is looking at what's available while acknowledging the province could be hit with some cases "that could change our scenario very quickly."

Premier Andrew Furey of Newfoundland and Labrador told CBC on Sunday that the province is looking to send medical equipment and professionals to Ontario to provide help and relief for staff there.

He is not planning to share any vaccine with Ontario, but is hopeful that sending even a small unit of people can make a big impact in such a crisis.

New rules for mask use

During Friday's COVID-19 briefing with Rankin, Strang announced that masks must be worn in outdoor places where physical distancing is not possible, such as farmers' markets and festivals.

Masks will also be required at restaurants and bars, both indoors and outdoors on patios, including when entering, exiting or getting up from a table. Strang said masks can come off once patrons are seated and are eating or drinking.

Strang said this is due to the now-common variant strains, and their greater ability to be transmitted between people.

New exposure notices

Nova Scotia Health reported new location and flight exposure notices on Sunday.

Anyone who worked at or visited the following locations on the specified dates and times should book a COVID-19 test on the self-assessment website or by contacting 811, regardless of whether they have COVID-19 symptoms.

Individuals who were at the following locations during the listed times do not have to self-isolate while they await test results, unless they have symptoms of COVID-19.

  • (Corrected date) Walmart in Bayers Lake at 220 Chain Lake Dr, Halifax, on April 12 between 5:30-7:30 p.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through April 26.

  • (Corrected time) Sackville Public Library at 636 Sackville Dr, Lower Sackville, on April 14 between 1:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. and April 15 between 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through April 29.

  • Superstore at 5178 St. Margaret's Bay Rd., Upper Tantallon on April 15 between 4-6 p.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through April 29.

  • GoodLife Fitness Sackville, Downsview Plaza at 720 Sackville Dr, Lower Sackville on April 15 and 16 between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through April 30.

  • NSLC at 3601 Joseph Howe Dr, Halifax on April 15 and 16 between 3:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through April 30.

  • Booster Juice at 720 Sackville Dr Unit #105, Lower Sackville on April 16 between 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through April 30.

  • Superstore Lower Sackville 745 Sackville Dr, Lower Sackville) on April 16 between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through April 30.

Anyone who was on the following flights in the specified rows and seats should book a COVID-19 test on the self-assessment website or by contacting 811, regardless of whether they have COVID-19 symptoms.

All other passengers on this flight should continue to self-isolate as required and monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

  • (Corrected date) Air Canada Flight 624 from Toronto on April 13 (9:30 p.m.) arriving in Halifax (12:05 a.m. April 14). Passengers in rows 20-26 seats A, C and D. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through April 29.

  • Air Canada Flight 624 from Toronto on April 15 (9:15 p.m.) to Halifax (12:05 a.m. on April 16). Passengers in rows 1-3 seats A, C, D and F. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through April 29.

  • West Jet Flight 232 from Calgary on April 16 (9:30 a.m.) to Halifax (5:18 p.m.). All passengers. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through April 29.

Atlantic Canada case numbers

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