COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Friday, Jan 7

All the information as we can provide while NS struggles with a fourth-wave outbreak sparked by the X-Ring superspreader event and fuelled by omicron.


Omicron's arrival means Nova Scotia is overwhelmed by COVID and its data-dissemination abilities are severely compromised. For the time being, these are the only infographics we can share with any confidence of accuracy: New and active cases    Nova Scotia’s third and fourth waves  Canada’s fourth wave

The first death of 2022

The headline on today's Nova Scotia COVID report is like a poem of panic. "One Death, 678 New Cases of COVID-19, Long-Term Care Outbreaks, Hospital Outbreaks, State of Emergency Renewed," it reads. Let's do a deconstruction of dread.

The person who died from the disease was a woman who lived in the Central zone. She was in her 80s, and the province doesn't yet know if she was infected by omicron or another variant. She becomes the first COVID death of the new year—the first since December 22 and the 112th confirmed victim of Nova Scotia's pandemic.

"I want to extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends who are grieving the loss of their loved one today," says premier Tim Houston in the report. "We need to protect everyone from this virus. Please get vaccinated and get your booster shot as soon as you can, get tested if you feel unwell and follow public health measures to help protect yourself and your communities."

Today's 678 new cases are the fewest daily infections reported since the 618 cases reported last Friday. They are spread across the province as 394 cases in Central zone, 108 in Eastern, 97 Northern and 79 Western. The government estimates there are 6,615 active cases in Nova Scotia, with 48 of those infected being sick enough to currently require hospitalization.

The outbreaks in long-term care referred to by the report headline include six new sites: Blomidon Court in Wolfville, Orchard Court and Evergreen Home for Special Care in Kentville, Grand View Manor in Berwick, Queens Manor in Liverpool and The Meadows in Yarmouth. They involve a total of 39 residents and staff. The report also says 12 people in previously reported LTC outbreaks are newly infected, and there are five new COVID patients in ongoing hospital outbreaks.

Renewing the state of emergency has nothing to do with today's case numbers or death; it has been extended every two weeks since the SOE was called March 22, 2020, nearly two years ago.


Comparing active cases in the third and fourth waves

In December, the town of Antigonish became ground zero for an inter-provincial COVID outbreak due to a weekend of superspreader events connected to the annual presentation of X-Rings at St. Francis Xavier University. But how bad is the outbreak, really? The following chart lets you compare Nova Scotia's active cases, dating from the third wave in April through the fourth wave and its infection Xplosion, using case data from provincial pandemic reports. The chart will be updated when provincial reporting allows. Note: From Dec 10 through Dec 22, Nova Scotia was too overwhelmed by new COVID cases to report recoveries or an official active case count; the active case numbers on this graph for those dates have been calculated by adding each day's new cases to the last official active count, and are therefore a maximum active caseload. Starting Dec 23, the province is issuing an "estimated" number of active cases.

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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. Also, from Dec 10 through Dec 22, Nova Scotia was too overwhelmed by new COVID cases to report recoveries or an official active case count; the active case numbers on this graph for those dates have been calculated by adding each day's new cases to the last official active count, and are therefore a maximum active caseload. Starting Dec 23, the province is issuing an "estimated" number of active cases.

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Canadian cases 2021-22

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 January 6, 2022.

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