182 new cases including 2 in long-term care on May 6

Halifax ends two weeks of lockdown Thursday with COVID-19 stronger than ever in Nova Scotia.

Another day, another set of record-breaking numbers from this stupid virus. The province is reporting 182 new COVID-19 infections today—155 in the Nova Scotia Health Authority's Central zone, 16 in the Eastern zone, seven in Northern and four Western—the highest single-day total ever among Atlantic Canadian provinces.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

New cases
182

New recoveries
76

Active cases
1,309

Days in a row with cases
38

Total cases in Nova Scotia during pandemic
3,364

Halifax’s lockdown
14 days

Nova Scotia’s lockdown
9 days

"Two of the cases in Central Zone involve a staff member and resident of the Clarmar Residential Care Facility, a residential care home in Dartmouth," says the provincial report. "This is the third staff member and third resident at the facility to test positive."

In the world of long-term care, Nova Scotia makes a distinction between nursing homes and residential care. On Monday, in response to Coast questions about those first two resident cases at Clarmar, the department of health and wellness emailed: "Residents in nursing homes have received both the first and second dose of vaccination. Second dose clinics will be completed for residents in residential care facilities in May." Clarmar provides residential care, so its residents could be waiting until the end of the month for their second dose. We asked the province if today's infected Clarmar resident had zero, one or two doses of vaccine, but haven't received an answer yet.

In a piece of positive news, 76 people with COVID recovered since yesterday's report, the second-most daily recoveries in Nova Scotia's pandemic (during the first wave there were 97 recoveries on May 12, 2021). Those recoveries are outweighed by the new cases, however, so the active caseload increases to 1,309 active cases—a new record high. This is the 20th straight day the caseload has risen, tying the record 20-day streak the virus set in the earliest days of its arrival in Nova Scotia, from the first known infections reported March 15, 2020 until it reached 186 active cases April 3.

This variant-driven third wave is also spreading more widely across the province than previous waves. Each of Nova Scotia's health zones is divided into several smaller community health networks; there are four zones, but 14 community networks. (Our map, above, and location table, below, show network cases.) Today there are new cases in 12 of the 14 networks, the highest penetration we can confirm (the province only started releasing data about network cases a few months ago, on January 20 of this year). There are 45 people whose C19 symptoms are severe enough that they are in the hospital, an increase of five from yesterday, while the number of those patients in ICU holds steady at nine.

The province's lab completed just 7,733 COVID tests yesterday, which is about half as many as it was processing on recent days to clear last week's 45,000-test backlog. Now the pressure is on update the health tracking system with the results from that mountain of testing. Or as the province puts it: "Public health also continues to work through the backlog in data entry into Panorama and contacting new cases, which is expected to be resolved in the coming days."

Public health staff need to contact newly diagnosed people in order to gather such information as their postal codes, which are used to connect cases from the health zone level to the community health networks. When you read The Coast's case-location table, you might wonder why so many cases in the Central zone are labelled as "Community not yet known." The delay in getting postal codes explains it.

About The Author

Kyle Shaw

Kyle is the editor of The Coast. He was a founding member of the newspaper in 1993 and was the paper’s first publisher. Kyle occasionally teaches creative nonfiction writing (think magazine-style #longreads) and copy editing at the University of King’s College School of Journalism.

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