COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Friday, Jun 11 | COVID-19 | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Friday, Jun 11

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.



Cases at Breton Education Centre and (yet again!) Citadel

The province is reporting two more COVID infections at schools today. One case is at Breton Education Centre, a school for Grades 6 though 12 in New Waterford, Cape Breton—that's the Sydney/Glace Bay community health network on our map and table. "The person has not been in the school since Friday, June 4," says the press release about the cases. "The school expects to reopen to students on Monday and will confirm details with families on Sunday, June 13."

The other case is at Citadel, the third case in three days at the big Halifax high school. "Since the building was thoroughly cleaned since the dates of potential exposure, we are proceeding with the plan for students to return to the building on Monday, June 14," says a letter to the Citadel community from principal Joe Morrison. "I will confirm this over the weekend once I’ve heard from Public Health."


1 death but only 8 new infections

Friday, June 11, 2021

Reopening status
Phase 1

New cases
8

New recoveries
11

New deaths
1

Active cases
143

Days in a row with cases
74

Total cases in Nova Scotia during pandemic
5,729

Total COVID deaths
89

The 89th Nova Scotian has died due to COVID-19. The patient was a man in his 50s who lived in Central zone, and he died in hospital. There have now been 24 COVID deaths in 2021.

In more awful news from the province's daily C19 report, the delta variant of the disease has definitely made it to Nova Scotia. As we've discussed previously, the province sends swabs from positive cases to the lab in Winnipeg for genetic testing, to find out if we have COVID cases caused by variant strains of the virus. Results from a recent batch must have arrived. "The National Microbiology Lab has confirmed two Delta variant cases," the provincial report says today. "These cases were previously reported, and both were related to travel."

Delta seems to be the most transmissible form of COVID yet, and vaccines may be less effective against it. This week Calgary had a C19 outbreak in a hospital that included 10 fully vaccinated people who were infected by delta. The two cases reported today are Nova Scotia's first known delta cases, and if the travellers quarantined as they are supposed to, they might not have passed this strain into the general population. It will take more testing of more positive cases to find out for sure.

With death and a more destructive disease in Nova Scotia, it's not surprising that premier Rankin extended the state of emergency for another two weeks. Rankin's predecessor, the brand-new Cox & Palmer law firm strategist Stephen McNeil, first called the SOE on March 22, 2020, and it has been extended every two weeks for more than a year.

In much better news, the province is reporting just eight new COVID infections today, breaking through what was starting to feel like a barrier at 12 cases. Eight cases is the fewest in a day since there were seven cases on April 18, the other side of the third wave, 54 days ago. This is an outstanding development.

The active caseload continues its slide thanks to 11 people recovering from the disease. Currently there are 143 active cases in Nova Scotia. Another welcome development.

In the last vaccination report before the weekend's traditional period of information silence and low injection numbers, the province says nearly 15,000 doses were put into arms on Thursday, almost double the current daily average. That's not as high as the 16,000+ doses delivered Wednesday, but it's far better than Monday and Tuesday, which were each under 5,000 jabs. And almost 5,000 tests were processed in local labs yesterday, solidly above the running average of just over 3,800 test per day.


What COVID variant strains are in Nova Scotia

Today's report that the delta strain has been found in Nova Scotia got us thinking about other variants—and their names. The B16172 mutation was first identified in India, and is called "delta" rather than "the India variant" in the World Health Organization's new naming system using the Greek alphabet. Before the third wave of infections took off here in late April, the province routinely reported when variants were discovered; such details were lost in the overwhelm of thousands of COVID infections, but on April 20 there had been 65 cases of alpha (B117, often called the UK variant) in Nova Scotia, 12 cases of beta (501V2, identified initially in South Africa) and one gamma (P1, first found in Brazil).

Those are all the WHO's current "variants of concern." There are six more strains on the "variants of interest" list, so don't be surprised to hear about an epsilon, zeta or kappa mutation soon.


A rollercoaster of emotions in one heading

The subject line on the province's Friday COVID-19 report packs in a whole pandemic of emotions. There's the anguish of death, the joy of low cases, dread from knowing the latest mutation has arrived and the resignation of Nova Scotia's perpetual crisis state carrying on through it all. It's like a novel in a single heading, except it's Nova Scotia's reality.


Catch Strankin at 1pm

Premier Iain Rankin and chief medical officer of health Robert Strang are giving one of their regular COVID-19 briefings today. It is scheduled to start at 1pm, an unusually early time that might let people on the COVID file get a jump on the weekend. You can watch live at novascotia.ca/stayinformed/webcast and/or @nsgov on Facebook, or catch it later at the Nova Scotia government's YouTube page.


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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Click here for yesterday's COVID-19 news roundup, for June 10, 2021.

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