Nova Scotia is reporting 24 more COVID-19 deaths in its latest weekly update, a tie for the most deaths ever reported in the province in a single week.
The province also reported a daily average of 359 people testing positive from PCR tests — down slightly from last week.
Of the 24 deaths reported in the seven-day period ending May 16, 22 people (91.7 per cent) were 70 or older. The age range for the other two deaths is 50 to 59. The province noted nine of the people who died lived in long-term care facilities.
Nova Scotia's deputy chief medical officer of health expects those numbers to go down soon.
"It's not unusual for deaths to lag behind case numbers and even hospitalizations and ... l expect in the coming weeks the number of deaths will decrease," Dr. Shelley Deeks said in a teleconference Thursday.
The province said hospitalizations are nearly 11 times higher, and the risk of death is 114 times higher for people 70 and older compared to younger people.
The province is encouraging people to get vaccinated if they haven't already. It noted while the number of hospitalizations and deaths during the Omicron waves have been higher, the overall rates have been lower in part because of vaccinations. Those who are 70 or older are encouraged to get a second booster dose.
The province said unvaccinated people are at the highest risk of severe illness.
Since the beginning of the Omicron wave in Nova Scotia on Dec. 8, 2021:
The median age of PCR-confirmed cases of COVID-19 is 43.
The median age of hospitalizations is 71.
The median age of reported deaths is 81.
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