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COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Monday, Aug 30

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.



31 new cases over the weekend

Today the province's case report delivered a shock: 31 fresh COVID infections, the most in a single report for three months, dating back to May 29 when Nova Scotia was still in its third-wave lockdown. And with only 15 recoveries, the caseload climbed to 71 active cases, another recent high as shown on our chart of active cases. These are big numbers, but do they guarantee trouble for Nova Scotia? No.

Remember, in late July the province relaxed enough about COVID that it takes a break on reporting over the weekend. The Monday report is covering new cases diagnosed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so on average there were only about 10 cases per day. And because today's new infections push Nova Scotia past the the point of having 6,000 cases over the course of the pandemic so far, causing Coast editor Kyle Shaw to mark the milestone with a set of infographics, we learned that Nova Scotia has had an average of more than 11 new cases every day during its pandemic.

In other words, while 31 new cases legitimately sounds like an awful lot right now, it is actually BELOW average.

But don't take our infographic's word for it; the provincial report has other signs of being in a good situation. For starters, no COVID patients are currently in hospital. Back on May 29, there were 43 people hospitalized, 18 of them in intensive care, obviously straining the health system more than now.

Also, the 31 cases are mostly related to travel or previous cases, with no confirmed community spread of COVID. "Twenty-six of the cases are in Central Zone. Fourteen are related to travel. Eight are close contacts of previously reported cases. Four are under investigation," says the province in the report. "Three cases are in Northern Zone. One is related to travel. Two are close contacts of previously reported cases. Two cases are in Western Zone. One is a close contact of a previously reported case. One is under investigation." Our map and table pinpoint these cases more specifically to various community health networks.

Testing numbers are adequate, and vaccinations continued to rise—slowly, to be sure, but within the bounds of recent performance. Nova Scotia is 70.79 percent fully vaccinated, up from 70.55 percent Friday.

And in perhaps the surest sign that nobody inside government is freaking out over the 31 cases, instead of relying on stalwart top doc Robert Strang to reassure the public, the province's report quotes second-from-the-top doc Shelly Deeks. “We expected to see an increase in case numbers in Nova Scotia as we’ve been seeing in other provinces,” says Deeks, the deputy chief medical officer of health.

“It’s important to understand most of these cases are related to travel and they are strictly adhering to the public health measures. We need to continue to keep each other safe by ensuring everyone 12 years of age and over is vaccinated with two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, getting tested if you have symptoms and continuing to follow public health measures.”

Fair enough, doctor Deeks. We'll hold off on panic until tomorrow's report at least.


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 the previous COVID-19 news roundup, for August 27, 2021.

Video

Monday, August 30, 2021

Reopening status
Phase 4

New cases
31

New recoveries
15

New deaths
0

Active cases
71

Total cases in Nova Scotia during pandemic
6,030

Total COVID deaths
94

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