COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Tuesday, Nov 16 | The Coast Halifax

COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Tuesday, Nov 16

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.

Case geography

The province's written report says today's 31 new cases are spread across Nova Scotia as "19 cases in Central Zone, nine cases in Northern Zone, two cases in Eastern Zone and one case in Western Zone." The report also says Western and Northern zones have COVID community spread, "primarily related to ongoing transmission from a faith-based gathering that occurred in late October." That includes the East Cumberland Lodge nursing home in Pictou, where today another resident and two more staffers are positive, making for a total of 10 staff and 29 residents infected.

At the province's data dashboard, information about case distribution at the level of Nova Scotia's 14 community health networks is buried in maps several clicks deep. And it only gives the current total, not the daily change. However, every day we at The Coast do the clicking and the tracking required to be able to create our map and table to help you easily understand what's happening in the networks. Today, for example, the Amherst/Cumberland network has the most new cases in the province, with eight, followed by Halifax and Bedford/Sackville, which each have five cases.

Every single network in Nova Scotia currently has active case(s). The range goes from three networks with just one active case each (Inverness/Victoria/Richmond, Pictou County and West Hants), to Halifax and its 57 active cases.

Houstrang speaks Wednesday

Premier Tim Houston and chief medical officer of health Robert Strang are giving one of their occasional COVID-19 briefings tomorrow, Wednesday November 17. It is scheduled to start at 1pm, but that may change. You can watch live at and/or @nsgov on Facebook, or catch it later at the Nova Scotia government's YouTube page.

COVID in decline

A week ago today, Nova Scotia was at its peak active caseload in the fourth wave (so far), with 281 active cases. That same day, Tuesday November 9, the province's average count of new cases reached its fourth-wave high, at 42 new cases. The day before, Monday Nov 8, featured the provincial report with the most new cases of the fourth wave, 111 new cases. (All these numbers, and their relative peaks compared to the rest of the fourth wave, are in The Coast's chart of new and active COVID lower down this page.)

Those highs were all powered by a mini-surge of infections connected to a faith gathering, as the province explained last week in a hastily convened—but not actually called "emergency"—COVID briefing. And while the knock-on effects of that gathering and that surge are still reverberating in Nova Scotia, we are happy to report that the active caseload and new-case average have been steadily trending downward since last Tuesday.

Today the province is announcing 31 new cases, no deaths and 41 recoveries to push the caseload down to 253 active cases. Coast analysis finds the 7-day moving average is now down to 33 new infections per day, having dropped with every report since last Tuesday.

Trends can change, of course. More than a month ago (check that active cases graph again) Nova Scotia found itself at its previous fourth-wave high point before cases started tracking downward—until they rose again to the recent highs. And COVID hospitalizations are up right now, from 10 patients in hospital with COVID (two of them in ICU) last Tuesday, to 16 in hospital (seven of those in intensive care) today, which is straight-up bad news. But still, a week of dropping cases is better than the alternative.

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. Two months later, on September 14, the province formally announced the arrival of the fourth wave of COVID. The dark purple line tracks the rise and fall of daily new infections reported by the province; the green area is the province's caseload. In mid-November, The Coast added a golden line to show the 7-day moving average of daily new cases, effectively a smoothed-out version of the purple line that puts the ups and downs into bigger context. Click or hover over any point on the graph and the detail for that moment will pop up. To focus on just some information, 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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Breakthrough infections in Nova Scotia

On Fridays, the province's daily COVID report includes statistics about COVID breakthroughs—infections, hospitalizations and deaths among people who are fully or partially vaccinated. The province reports its numbers as a cumulative total: all the breakthrough cases dating from March 15, 2021 to the latest update. The Coast does an analysis to break the information about new cases down by each weekly reporting period, in order to offer our readers the following unique view of the same information, so you can better understand the fluctuations in breakthrough infections as they happen. Note: Our bar chart only dates back to June because the province didn't start this reporting until summer 2021.

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Click here for yesterday's COVID-19 news roundup, for November 15, 2021.