COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Thursday, Aug 5

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.



4 new infections and 15 active cases

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Reopening status
Phase 4

New cases
4

New recoveries
0

New deaths
0

Active cases
15

Reports in a row with cases
5

Total cases in Nova Scotia during pandemic
5,899

Total COVID deaths
93

Nova Scotia is reporting four new cases of COVID today. This isn't the largest infection count of the week—that would be the six cases in Tuesday's report covering the holiday weekend—but with no COVID patients recovering from the disease since yesterday, the caseload goes up to 15 active cases. And that is the largest caseload in three weeks, back to when there were 22 active cases on July 15.

All four of the new cases are in the Central health zone, and they're all travel-related, says the province's Thursday disease dispatch. The Coast's ongoing analysis of provincial numbers to reveal under-reported information finds that all the patients are also male, but they're not the same age. One is in the 20-to-39-year-old group, two are 40 to 59 and the last is 60 to 79. Three of these guys live in the Halifax community health network (our map of the networks, below, shows this).

The fourth case hasn't yet been connected to a community network, which means the public health database doesn't have a local postal code for that patient. This man therefore isn't placed on our map, but he is listed on our table under the category "Community not known." It's possible the database will never get a postal code for him, or it could turn out that he lives in a totally different area of the province, or he might be from another province, or maybe he'll live in Halifax just like the others. All these scenarios have happened before around incomplete entries in the database, and the province's standard operating procedure is to offer no explanation. 

Something else that doesn't get explained is COVID patients in hospital. The province says one person is hospitalized right now, with symptoms so severe that they're in intensive care. Every report since last Friday has said the same thing: one patient in hospital, in the ICU. But has it been the same person the whole time, or different people? No explanation.

Vaccinations hit another recent low, falling under the lacklustre level reported yesterday. Only 8,762 arms got jabs on Wednesday across the province, which is particularly surprising because Wednesdays are often the strongest day of the week. Keeping with the recent trend, the vast majority of those injections went to people getting their second dose. Now 65.57 percent of Nova Scotia's population is fully vaccinated with both doses, and 76.46 percent of the province has at least one dose.

Testing increased radically since yesterday's report, with provincial labs processing 3,326 PCR tests on Wednesday. This is the most in a day for three weeks, dating back to July 15. Yes, the same July 15 as above, when active cases were at a level like today's. And no, we can't explain that.


Charting the way after the third wave

Check out our freshly refreshed chart of new and active cases in Nova Scotia, lower down on the page. The province recently confirmed to The Coast that the third wave is over (the line from the health department spokesperson is "Epidemiology in Nova Scotia suggests that our third wave has concluded"), so today we reset the chart to make it easier to follow the rise and fall of cases now that the numbers are smaller than they were in May, during the heart of the outbreak. We chose July 17 as the starting date of Nova Scotia's post-third wave reality because that's when active cases fell to just five, the lowest point since last October. Unfortunately, the caseload hasn't been that low again, as the chart reveals.


Watching New Brunswick

You won't be surprised to find out that top doc Robert Strang is paying attention to the rise in cases—and elimination of COVID restrictions—happening in New Brunswick. Today he gave a briefing to media and promised that Nova Scotia will “take action as appropriate” if things get out of hand next door. The Coast's Lyndsay Armstrong was at the briefing and filed this report for you.


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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Click here for yesterday's COVID-19 news roundup, for August 4, 2021.

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