COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Thursday, Nov 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.

Vax mystery solved

Yesterday we told you about the massive vaccination numbers Nova Scotia reported, which were both unexplained and unlikely. We asked the province what happened there, and today heard back that the big number is due to Nova Scotians who got vaccinated outside the province.

Those people are able to register their dose(s) with the province, in a program that started October 4, so they appear on Nova Scotian POV. The unusually large number of vaccinations reported yesterday was a big batch of those vaccinations from away getting added into the vax tracking system the province uses for local injections.

Are we facing a public servant shortage?

Nova Scotia made the right call by making vaccination mandatory for government workers. The vax mandate doubtless pushed some people to hurry up and get vaccinated against COVID, helping the province get closer to herd immunity. That's a good thing. But it also means government departments risk becoming short-staffed if they have staunchly anti-vax employees who would rather lose their jobs than receive safe, free, effective protection against the deadliest pandemic humanity has faced in a century. In the long term, that's a good riddance thing, but to suddenly lose a bunch of workers on the upcoming Nov 30 vax deadline day would suck in the short term, for both the remaining staff who have to try to cover all the work and the public those departments serve. So how do the numbers look? Lyndsay Armstrong will tell you.

The premier, the pastor, the police…and the justice minister

That story from yesterday about premier Tim Houston calling out pastor Robert Smith for organizing a superspreader event takes an unexpected turn today, with provincial justice minister Brad Johns refusing to back his boss's call for the police to investigate Smith. This new story by Lyndsay Armstrong will fill you in on the political difference of opinion, as well as the new maximum fines—up to nearly $60,000—the province can levy against violators of the Health Protection Act.

Balancing infections and recoveries

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Reopening status
Phase 4.5

New cases

New recoveries

New deaths

Active cases

Total cases in Nova Scotia during pandemic

Total COVID deaths

The province is reporting 22 new cases today, 22 people recovering from the disease and therefore no change at all in the active caseload. Just like yesterday there are currently 236 active COVID cases in Nova Scotia.

"There are 12 cases in Central Zone, seven cases in Western Zone and three cases in Northern Zone," says the province in its report. For more in-depth information about where these cases are, our map and table of COVID in the province's 14 community health networks a lower down this page.

Hospitalizations are also unchanged from yesterday, with 17 people in the hospital due to the severity of their COVID infections, and seven of them so sick that they are in intensive care.

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 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.

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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 yesterday's COVID-19 news roundup, for November 17, 2021.

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