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COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Monday, May 17 

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.


Charting the ups and downs

"We knew we would have some ups and downs as we worked to get this outbreak under control," top doc Strang said yesterday. He was referring to the caseload's unpredictable rising and falling day by day, a situation that causes the province's collective mood to perk up when case numbers are down, and to sink down when numbers are up. For a more complete picture of the highs and lows, The Coast graphed the last month in new and active cases.


Is community spread spreading?

Despite the provincial lockdown, now on its 20th day, COVID community transmission might be increasing. Lately the province's report has said the Central zone definitely has community spread, and the other zones are being "closely monitored" for signs of it. But Saturday's report escalated the threat, stating: "There are some areas of concern, particularly in Sydney, Bridgewater and the Annapolis Valley from New Minas to Kentville. Testing has been increased in these areas." As of today's report, that status has not changed.


91 new cases and the active caseload drops

Monday, May 17, 2021

New cases
91

New recoveries
187

New deaths
0

Active cases
1,435

Days in a row with cases
49

Total cases in Nova Scotia during pandemic
4,837

Total COVID deaths
72

Halifax’s lockdown
25 days

Nova Scotia’s lockdown
20 days

Recoveries beat new cases Monday, with the province reporting 91 new COVID-19 infections, and 187 people recovering since yesterday. This is a great change from Sunday's report, which saw the active caseload increase; today the caseload is down below 1,500 for the first time in 10 days, to a current count of 1,435 active cases.

The province breaks down the case locations by the four health authority zones, reporting "There are 66 cases in Central Zone, 17 in Eastern Zone, five in Northern Zone and three in Western Zone." By analyzing data at the province's COVID dashboard, we break down the cases by the 14 more-localized community health networks, and can report that the Dartmouth, Halifax and Sydney community networks have the bulk of the new cases, with 29, 23 and 16 respectively.

Halifax leads the province in recoveries with 58, just ahead of Dartmouth's 57, so active cases drop in both of those networks. Sydney only has 12 recoveries to go with its 16 new cases. For the complete breakdown of all 14 community health networks, scroll to our map (below) and table (further below).

The number of COVID patients in hospitals across the province increased by three people since yesterday, to 95 patients today. Like yesterday, the province is reporting that 21 of those patients are in ICU. "The median age of people hospitalized in the third wave is 56.5 for non-ICU, and 59 for people in ICU," says the province. And two more patients at the Halifax Infirmary hospital are C19-positive, bringing the total to 12 patients who've been infected there in recent days.


Where the disease is today


We might get vaccine from the US

If you need a reminder that you never can tell what's going to happen in a pandemic, fate is providing. Today Nova Scotia officially goes from being a COVID-free miracle place making the United States jealous, to disease disaster zone turning to our American neighbours for help.

Nova Scotia premier Iain Rankin co-chaired a meeting of east coast provinces and states with Connecticut governor Ned Lamont on Monday, and vaccines were on the agenda. "The New England states, which have indicated they have a significant percentage of their population vaccinated, are willing to share their excess vaccine as a way of expediting the reopening of borders and the recovery that can follow once that happens," says the province's press release about the meeting.

"Governors and premiers continue to be focused on containing COVID-19 and our collective economic recovery which depends on easing border restrictions," premier Rankin says in the release. "We are optimistic that as vaccinations increase, and case numbers go down, we can turn our attention to a safe reopening of borders."


COVID in the community health networks

Our table logs data from Nova Scotia's official COVID-19 dashboard in order to provide this information. The province reports the number of active cases in each of the 14 community health networks, but The Coast does the math to be able to report the new and resolved case numbers.


Vaccinations open to 30+

Apparently the province has opened vaccinations up to the next-youngest age group, people ages 30 to 34. There hasn't been an official announcement, and the words on the vaccine booking website still say only people 35 years old and older can register, but The Coast is reporting that "quick-with-the-keyboards millennials discovered that appointments were open for their cohort," and the booking site will actually allow the 30-to-34 group to in.

UPDATE: It's all true! Here's the province's official announcement confirming that every Nova Scotia 30 years old and up is now able to get that sweet, sweet vaccine. Click to go straight to the booking site.


Strankin briefing at 3pm

Premier Iain Rankin and chief medical officer of health Robert Strang are hosting one of their COVID-19 briefings Monday afternoon, scheduled to start at 3pm. 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.


Have you checked the exposures site lately?

For months, Nova Scotia Health has been running a database of places where someone with COVID is known to have been. It's a useful and thorough list, with addresses and dates/times of when the potential exposure happened, and now that database is split into two categories. One is businesses like stores and restaurants, the other is just flights and transit routes across the province.

The latest warnings on the business side include a large building supplies store in Dartmouth Crossing (Saturday and Sunday), Costco and Walmart in Bayers Lake, drug stores in Dartmouth, Kentville and Membertou, and a laundromat in Sydney. In transit, Halifax Transit's #7 bus had a couple potential exposures Thursday morning, and Air Canada flights coming into Halifax from Toronto (Wednesday and Thursday), Montreal (Monday and Tuesday) carried at least one infected passenger.

If you haven't checked the website of exposure sites lately—or ever—now would be a good time to get up to date as Nova Scotia heads into its fourth week of lockdown.


Click here for yesterday's COVID-19 news roundup, for May 16, 2021.

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