COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Thursday, Sep 23

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.



A death in the family

There's no magic in Nova Scotia's remarkably successful battle against the pandemic. We tend to lock things down quickly when the disease comes, and participate in—rather than protest against—the public health measures designed to suffocate the virus, but still the disease comes. It always comes. And whether it's the second wave or third wave or now the fourth, the pattern is the same. First other places get a rise in infections, then increased hospitalizations, then death, while we are somehow untouched. Until we aren't. Until the new cases start to increase, then hospitalizations creep up. And today brings death.

“My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and loved ones of the woman who has passed,” says chief medical officer of health Robert Strang in today's COVID report from the province. He's referring to a woman in Central zone, aged eightysomething, who died from COVID.

"On behalf of all Nova Scotians, I want to offer condolences to the family and friends mourning the loss of their loved one today,” says premier Tim Houston. Before today, Nova Scotia's latest COVID fatality arrived August 25, nearly a month ago, when Houston was premier-designate, elected to take over but not sworn in. He might have hoped, as we all did, that we were finally through this thing, that he wouldn't have to face a COVID death when he officially became premier. But the disease is working on a time scale that human hope can barely comprehend. The disease has killed a woman in Central zone, the 95th death it's caused in the family of Nova Scotians. Yet still we hope there will be no more.


41 new cases

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Reopening status
Phase 4

New cases
41

New recoveries
20

New deaths
1

Active cases
147

Total cases in Nova Scotia during pandemic
6,452

Total COVID deaths
95

In less-important COVID matters than the woman who died, the province is reporting 41 new infections and just 20 recoveries today, pushing the caseload up to 147 active cases. As the chart of new and active cases lower down this page shows, 41 new cases is relatively high in Nova Scotia's fourth wave.

The bulk of those cases are in Central zone: 14 in the Halifax community health network according to our map and table below, 12 in the Dartmouth network. Northern zone's Truro/Colchester network has the third-most new cases at seven. The province says 18 of the 29 new cases in Central are under investigation as possible community spread, while only one of the seven Northern zones cases and one of the three Western cases are under investigation. Eastern's two new cases are both connected to previous cases.

Hospitalizations are up, from nine yesterday to 11 today. One of those 11 patients is sick enough to be in intensive care. In case you missed the signal sent by the death announced today, the fourth wave is indeed becoming serious.

Lots of Nova Scotians already got that message, even before the woman's death. Yesterday's COVID report showed a dramatic rise in testing, and today's numbers are up even higher. There were 4,357 tests processed by Nova Scotia's labs on Wednesday, the most in a day since June 19.

For vaccinations, today's report says there were 2,962 jabs given out on Wednesday, the most in a single day since last Wednesday. That's the good news. But as we pointed out a week ago, there's a hump day slump happening, and the drop in vaccinations from last Wednesday to this Wednesday is more evidence of the province's dwindling vax effort. Nova Scotia is now 73.94 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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Click here for yesterday's COVID-19 news roundup, for September 22, 2021.

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