COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Friday, Aug 20 | The Coast Halifax

COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Friday, Aug 20

Information including charts, new infections and our daily map of community COVID-19.


NOTE: This day is now over. Click for the latest on COVID-19 from The Coast. Or for an informative look back at Nova Scotia's evolving pandemic response, keep on reading.

Houstrang is happening, Monday at 3pm

Doctor Robert Strang is now going on his third premier of the pandemic. First came Stephen McNeil, whose public briefings with the chief medical officer of health were known as The Steve & Strang Show. (For a real throwback, check out the photo of Strang before he started wearing his trademark ties to briefings in this story from March 25, 2020, the first time The Coast referred to The Steve & Strang Show.)

Next up was Iain Rankin, whose name dovetailed perfectly with the good doctor's to form the dynamic duo Strankin. It's hard to imagine a better portmanteau than Strankin—did Kimye ever get a sweet cross-stitch design?—but as Kim and Kanye know too well, a good name alone isn't always enough to sustain a relationship. Sometimes, after two majority governments in a row, you just don't have the chemistry with voters to keep it together.

Enter premier number three, who comes to power on the twin promises of a doctor for every patient, and a celebrity power couple name for the ages. Tim Houston, meet doctor Strang. World, meet Houstrang.

The official Houstrang unveiling happens Monday. In a press release put out on their behalf, the province says: "Premier-designate Tim Houston and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, will release the province's back-to-school plan and provide an update on COVID-19 Phase 5 on Monday, Aug. 23, at 3 p.m."

Just like The Steve & Strang Show, you can watch the name unveiling/briefing about the deadly disease at the province's webcast page. And just like the juiciest dating reality show, there might be some drama from an ex.

"Premier Iain Rankin is also invited to attend," says the press release. And while this is the saddest sentence ever written, it's also Rankin's chance for redeption. For one glorious briefing, Houstrang could become Houstrankin, the planet's first and greatest pandemic power trio. Monday can't get here soon enough!

The most new cases in nearly two months

Friday, August 20, 2021

Reopening status
Phase 4

New cases

New recoveries

New deaths

Active cases

Total cases in Nova Scotia during pandemic

Total COVID deaths

Between provincial election day and the city's assault on crisis shelters and Haligonians, this week was particularly long. And Friday's COVID report makes it even longer. The province is reporting 10 new infections, the most in one day since the 11 cases announced June 26, almost two months ago.

"Nine of the cases are in Central Zone. Five are related to travel. Three are close contacts of previously reported cases. One is under investigation," the province says in its Friday disease update. "One case is in Northern Zone and is under investigation."

According to The Coast's map and table of COVID cases in Nova Scotia's 14 community health networks, Halifax has the bulk of the new cases with five. Bedford/Sackville has two, Dartmouth has one and there's one in Central zone that the province doesn't yet know the patient's postal code, so its community is currently unknown. The Northern zone case is in Amherst/Cumberland, the health network that borders the New Brunswick border. (To get this information in a different way, you really should look at the map and table if you can.)

Only one COVID patient recovered from the disease since yesterday, barely offsetting the 10 new infections and pushing the caseload up by nine, to 42 active cases. This is the post-third wave record high for Nova Scotia, and it cannot change until Monday because in its post-third wave summer bliss, the province stopped giving COVID updates on weekends. Meanwhile Canada's fourth wave continues to climb (The Coast's chart of Canadian infections is below), powered in large party by Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec.

The number of COVID patients in hospital across the province is unchanged at one person. Unfortunately this person is so sick that they are still in intensive care.

Testing is virtually the same as reported yesterday: local labs completed 3,207 tests on Thursday, which is more than the current daily average of about 2,750 COVID PCR tests. Vaccinations are also up, reaching 4,491 jabs delivered at clinics across the province (compared to about 4,100 reported yesterday). And more than 1,200 of those needles went to people getting their first dose, the most this week. The Coast's graph of vaccination rates in Nova Scotia, further down this page, says over 69 percent of the entire provincial population has two doses of vaccine, and 77.32 percent of Nova Scotians have at least one dose.

Finally, the province's state of emergency has been extended for another two weeks. This extension has happened every two weeks since the SOE was first declared for March 22, 2020—three premiers ago.

Map of cases in community health networks

This infographic was created by The Coast using daily case data from Nova Scotia's official COVID-19 dashboard. Our goal is for this to be the best NS COVID map around, clearer and more informative than the province or any other media organization provides. To get there we do an analysis of the data to find each day's new and resolved case numbers in the 14 community health networks, information the province does not provide. For a different but still highly accessible approach to the latest COVID statistics, check out our case table. Note: On July 23, 2021, Nova Scotia announced that it will no longer update case numbers on weekends.

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Case table of the health networks

The Coast uses data logged from Nova Scotia's official COVID-19 dashboard in order to provide this tabulated breakdown. The province reports the number of active cases in each of Nova Scotia's 14 community health networks, but we do the math to be able to report the new and resolved case numbers. We also map the data to provide a different view of the case information. Note: Effective July 23, 2021, the province no longer updates case numbers on weekends.

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New and active cases visualized

Nova Scotia's third wave of COVID grew in April, 2021, peaked in May (227 new cases in one day was the maximum) and subsided in June. On July 17, the province reached five active cases—its lowest level in more than eight months—and an election was called. So when it came time to reset The Coast's chart comparing daily new cases with that day’s active caseload, in order to better reflect disease levels after the third wave, we started from July 17. The dark line tracks the rise and fall of new infections reported by the province; the green area is the province's caseload. Click or hover over any point on the graph and the detail for that moment will pop up. To focus on just new or active cases, click the legend at the top left of the graph to hide or reveal that data set. Note: As of July 23, 2021, the province stopped updating case numbers on weekends. And you can click here for the version of this graph that includes the third wave and its May 10 crest of 1,655 active cases.

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Vaccination in the population

How many Nova Scotians already have one dose of vaccine? How many are fully vaccinated with two doses? And how close are we to the herd immunity goal of 75 percent of the province fully vaxxed? These questions are answered in our chart of the vaccination rate in Nova Scotia since the province started reporting these numbers in January 2021, breaking out people who've had a single dose separate from those who've had the full complement of two doses. (Here's more information about the 75 percent target and what it will take to get there.) Note: The province doesn't update vaccination numbers on weekends.

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Canadian cases in 2021

There was a point in July 2021, when the delta variant was causing an increase in COVID infections around the world, that Canada seemed safe from the fourth wave. By August, however, that point had passed, and case numbers around the country started to rise again. This graph charts the number of new infections every day in each province and territory, using the 7-day moving average to mitigate single-day anomalies (including a lack of weekend reporting in several jurisdictions including British Columbia and Nova Scotia). To focus on individual places, click the place names at the top of the chart to turn that data on or off.

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Click here for yesterday's COVID-19 news roundup, for August 19, 2021.