COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Thursday, Dec 30

All the information as we can provide while NS struggles with a fourth-wave outbreak sparked by the X-Ring superspreader event and fuelled by omicron.


Between the holidays and the outbreak, the limited information coming from the province allows us to offer this limited lineup of infographics:
New and active cases    Nova Scotia’s third and fourth waves    Canada’s fourth wave

An outbreak of outbreaks

COVID information may be limited—from the province and from The Coast—until 2022, but that doesn't mean Nova Scotia can't issue a scary report. Today Nova Scotia is reporting 522 new cases, an estimate of 5,106 active cases and 25 people in hospital. But none of that is the scary part, especially the hospitalizations, which are only up one from the 24 of yesterday.

Today's bad news is a raft of outbreaks in hospitals and long-term care facilities. There's not much room for sugar-coating here, so we will copy and paste straight from the provincial report in an extended block quote.

The province is reporting four new outbreaks in long-term care facilities. Public health is working with the facilities to prevent further spread. Increased public health measures and restrictions are in place.
Four staff members have tested positive at the Sagewood Continuing Care Facility in Lower Sackville. Five staff members and one resident have tested positive at the Kings Regional Rehabilitation Centre in Waterville. Four staff members and one resident have tested positive at Melville Gardens in Halifax. Two residents have tested positive at New Vision in South Berwick, with one in hospital.
One new case is being reported at Parkstone Enhanced Care in Halifax. A total of two residents and three staff members at the facility have tested positive. No one is in hospital.
The Nova Scotia Health Authority is reporting outbreaks at the Victoria General site of the QEII Health Sciences Center and New Waterford Heights. Currently there are a very low number of patients impacted (less than five at each facility), and all patients are being closely monitored and other Infection Prevention and Control measures are being put in place. NSHA will provide a further update when more information is available.
An additional three cases are being reported at a ward at the Halifax Infirmary site of the QEII Health Sciences Centre, for a total of nine cases. There are no new cases related to the outbreak at St. Martha's Regional Hospital in Antigonish.

Comparing active cases in the third and fourth waves

In December, the town of Antigonish became ground zero for an inter-provincial COVID outbreak due to a weekend of superspreader events connected to the annual presentation of X-Rings at St. Francis Xavier University. But how bad is the outbreak, really? The following chart lets you compare Nova Scotia's active cases, dating from the third wave in April through the fourth wave and its infection Xplosion, using case data from provincial pandemic reports. The chart will be updated when provincial reporting allows. Note: From Dec 10 through Dec 22, Nova Scotia was too overwhelmed by new COVID cases to report recoveries or an official active case count; the active case numbers on this graph for those dates have been calculated by adding each day's new cases to the last official active count, and are therefore a maximum active caseload. Starting Dec 23, the province is issuing an "estimated" number of active cases.

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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 purple line tracks the rise and fall of daily new infections reported by the province; the green area is the province's caseload. In mid-November, The Coast added a golden line to show the 7-day moving average of daily new cases, effectively a smoothed-out version of the purple line that puts the ups and downs into bigger context. Click or hover over any point on the graph and the detail for that moment will pop up. To focus on just some information, 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. Also, from Dec 10 through Dec 22, Nova Scotia was too overwhelmed by new COVID cases to report recoveries or an official active case count; the active case numbers on this graph for those dates have been calculated by adding each day's new cases to the last official active count, and are therefore a maximum active caseload. Starting Dec 23, the province is issuing an "estimated" number of active cases.

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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 yesterday's COVID-19 news roundup, for December 29, 2021.

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