COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Monday, Oct 18

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.



Three Halifax schools closed due to COVID exposure

Between 8pm Sunday night and 4pm Monday afternoon, notices were sent out about three school closures in Halifax. Joseph Howe Elementary and École Mer et Monde will be closed between Oct 19 and 25 and Dartmouth South Academy will close between Oct 18 and 22 to limit the spread of COVID.

"While our goal is to keep students learning in the classroom, I was clear that if stronger measures were needed, like closing a school, we would not hesitate to act," top doc Robert Strang said in a statement Sunday night, announcing the Dartmouth South closure.

"The regional medical officer of health team has been closely monitoring this situation and they are recommending a temporary closure to contain the spread,” he said. The chief medical officer will have more on the school closures and the 72 new cases detected over the weekend during a COVID briefing tomorrow (Tuesday, Oct 19) at 11am.

Today was the scheduled first day back for students at Duc d'Anville Elementary, also in Halifax, for all students who tested negative for COVID-19. On Oct 8, the day before the Thanksgiving long weekend, the province announced the school would close for the week of Oct 12-15 to prevent exposure.


72 new cases, but the dashboard is down

Of the 72 new cases announced Monday by the province, 31 cases were reported on Saturday, October 16, 19 new cases on Sunday, Oct 17 and 22 new cases are being reported today, Oct 18. There were only 63 recoveries over the weekend, so the caseload increases today to 208 active cases.

According to the province, there are 58 cases in the Central health authority zone, eight cases in the Northern zone, five in Western and one case in Eastern.

Nova Scotia is also reporting "a technical issue" that means the COVID data dashboard won't be updated today. And without new data, we cannot update our beloved map and table of cases in the community health networks. Please accept our apologies on the province's behalf. The map and table below were last updated on Friday.


Hospitalizations and vaccinations

Even with the data dashboard out of commission for the day, the province's written report has plenty of information worth analyzing. The 72 cases announced today, for example, average to 24 cases per day over the weekend reporting period, which lines up exactly with last week's daily average. Infections aren't up this week: That's the good news.

The unwelcome news is hospitalizations. The number of Nova Scotians in hospital with COVID increased from 14 on Friday to 15 today. Not a massive increase on its own, but the number of those patients sick enough to be in intensive care went from one on Friday to three today, a proportionately large jump that is definitely moving in the wrong direction.

COVID testing over the weekend was pretty standard. Yesterday there were 2,792 tests completed in local labs, and the current rolling average is 2,922 tests per day.

In vaccinations, the 3,805 shots delivered over the weekend represent an increase from the roughly 3,100 jabs given last weekend (which was a day longer because of the Thanksgiving holiday), and the 3,500-ish doses injected the weekend before. More good news! As our vaccination rate chart shows, Nova Scotia is now nearly 77 percent fully vaccinated.


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. Two months later, on September 14, the province formally announced the arrival of the fourth wave of COVID. 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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Breakthrough infections in Nova Scotia

On Fridays, the province's daily COVID report includes statistics about COVID breakthroughs—infections, hospitalizations and deaths among people who are fully or partially vaccinated. The province reports its numbers as a cumulative total: all the breakthrough cases dating from March 15, 2021 to the latest update. The Coast does an analysis to break the information about new cases down by each weekly reporting period, in order to offer our readers the following unique view of the same information, so you can better understand the fluctuations in breakthrough infections as they happen. Note: Our bar chart only dates back to June because the province didn't start this reporting until summer 2021.

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Click here for the previous COVID-19 news roundup, for October 15, 2021.

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