COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Friday, Jul 2

Updates including briefings, 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.



New rules for vaccinated travellers

The province put out a press release today announcing that Nova Scotia is changing its approach to international travellers on July 5, to match up with new federal regulations coming into effect that same day.

The feds aren't changing anything about who is allowed into Canada; non-essential travel will still be off limits. "No entry for optional reasons" shouts the federal webpage about travel, stating that people can't come in for "leisure, tourism, visiting friends" or "social gatherings, weddings." And "being a property owner in Canada" doesn't grant you access to the country, either.

However, for those who are allowed to cross the border—such as people who work in Canada, or work driving or flying essential goods to Canada—the July 5 change lets people who are fully vaccinated enter without having to quarantine. "There is no change for anyone else entering Canada," says Nova Scotia's announcement. "They must quarantine at their point of entry until they get a negative test result. Then they can enter Nova Scotia and complete the rest of their 14-day quarantine. A second negative test is required to end quarantine."

“It makes sense to align our border policy with the federal government’s for international travel,” says premier Iain Rankin in the announcement. “The federal rules are the same as Nova Scotia’s for fully vaccinated travellers and more stringent for others. This is another positive step in our province’s cautious reopening strategy.”


Active cases below 50

Nova Scotia reached 47 active cases today, the first time the caseload has gone under 50 since April 18, which was 75 days and 4,062 infections ago. Not only are there relatively few people in the province with COVID, but they are concentrated in just a couple areas, as most places—9 out of 14 community health networks—don't have any active cases at all. On the following chart, COVID-free health networks are green, and networks with cases progress from light pink to dark red as the count of active cases goes up. You'll notice disease isn't showing up anywhere except Cape Breton and the most urban parts of Halifax Regional Municipality.


That probable case

In case you're wondering what's up with the "probable" COVID case that was announced yesterday…keep on wondering. The province did not mention anything about it today. Such lack of follow-up on probable cases has been the government's standard behaviour during the pandemic.


2 new cases, a quarter of the province fully vaccinated

Friday, July 2, 2021

Reopening status
Phase 3

New cases
2

New recoveries
6

New deaths
0

Active cases
47

Days in a row with cases
9

Total cases in Nova Scotia during pandemic
5,842

Total COVID deaths
92

The province is reporting two new COVID-19 infections in its daily update on the pandemic. "One case is in Central Zone and is under investigation," the update says. "The other case is in Eastern Zone and is a close contact of a previously reported case."

Zooming into the more-localized community health networks instead of the four giant zones, one of the new cases is in Halifax, the other's in the Sydney/Glace Bay network in Cape Breton. Our map and table of the networks, below, have more information about the current state of COVID in Nova Scotia.

Six people recovered since yesterday, easily offsetting the two new cases to drive the caseload down to 47 cases. (The province's report says there are five recoveries today, but we have double- and triple-checked the maps and other figures at the province's COVID data page, and the message that information gives is that there are six recoveries today. A similar situation happened yesterday, where the province's July 1 update claimed nine recoveries when all other provincial data attested to only eight. We assume one recovery was announced early, in a mix-up that probably involves yesterday's statutory holiday; between the data page and the update press releases, the consistent message is that 14 Nova Scotians have recovered over the last two days.)

Hospitalizations changed today for the first time since last Friday, June 25. Unfortunately they changed in the wrong direction, increasing from two patients in hospital over the last week to three patients currently in hospital. Happily none of them are in the ICU, continuing the trend of the past week where none of the province's COVID patients needed intensive care.

Testing is down, but considering today's report is the number of tests completed yesterday—on a sunny day off—the drop in testing isn't too bad. The province says 2,936 tests were processed on the July 1 holiday Thursday, which is below the 3,731 tests reported the day before, but is actually more than the 2,399 tests done on regular old Monday, June 28 this week (reported Tuesday).

And vaccination statistics came out today after taking the holiday off yesterday (and before the upcoming weekend reporting break). Over the last two days, clinics throughout the province stuck almost 36,000 doses into arms. But as has been the case recently, the vast majority of those vaccinations—nearly 34,000 shots—were second doses. The number of unvaccinated people who got their first dose is below 1,800 for two days, or fewer than 900 newly vaccinated people per day.

Nova Scotia has now spend eight days, from the numbers reported for Thursday, June 24 through Thursday, July 1, stuck at 72-point-something percent of the population with at least one dose of vaccine. By comparison, during that same span three weeks earlier, June 3-10, vaccination uptake rose 5.5 percent. Explore these numbers for yourself on our vaccination rate chart below or, for more background on vaccinations reaching a plateau before getting to the 75 percent population target, click for our story about the vax ceiling.

But there is some fantastic news in the vaccine numbers: The large amount of second-dose shots brought the province to more than 26 percent of the population having both doses. That's fully a quarter of the province, one out of every four people, having the full complement of vaccine.

“The majority of our cases are among people who have not yet received the vaccine or who got COVID-19 before the vaccine had taken effect,” says chief medical officer of health Robert Strangin today's update. “This is an important reminder of the role vaccines play in our reopening plan. Ensuring everyone has access to the vaccine and gets both doses will help limit the spread of the virus, which will allow us to further ease restrictions in the future.”


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.

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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.

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New and active cases visualized

This interactive graph charts COVID activity in Nova Scotia's third wave, comparing daily new cases with that day’s active caseload. The dark line tracks the rise and fall of new infections reported by the province, which hit a Nova Scotian pandemic record high of 227 cases in a single day on May 7. The green area is the province's caseload, which peaked May 10 at 1,655 active cases. Click or however over any point on the graph and the detail for that moment will pop up. To focus on just new or active cases, you can click the legend at the top left of the graph to hide or reveal that data set.

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Recoveries and infections graphed

A person who tests positive for COVID-19 counts as a new case, the beginning of a problem for both the province and that person. The best ending to the problem is the patient recovers from the disease. This interactive chart compares how many problems started (the red area of new cases) to how many ended (the blue area's recoveries) each day in Nova Scotia's third wave, revealing growth trends along the way. Click or hover over any point on the graph and the detail for that day will pop up, to reveal exactly how quickly things change: May 7 had Nova Scotia's most-ever infections diagnosed in one day, 227 new cases, more than triple the 71 recoveries that day. Two weeks later, May 21, had a record recoveries, 197 in a day, more than double the 84 new cases. To focus on just new cases or recoveries, you can click the legend at the top left of the graph to hide or reveal that data set.

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Average and daily new cases

Knowing the average number of new cases Nova Scotia has every day—the orange area in this graph—is useful to show the trend of infections without one day's ups or downs distorting the picture. Having the daily new cases as well, the dark line on the graph, gives a sense of how each day compares to the average. We use the rolling (AKA moving or running) 7-day average of daily data reported by the province; here's a good explainer of what a rolling average is.

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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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Click here for yesterday's COVID-19 news roundup, for July 1, 2021.

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