COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Tuesday, Aug 31

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.

3 new cases

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Reopening status
Phase 4

New cases

New recoveries

New deaths

Active cases

Total cases in Nova Scotia during pandemic

Total COVID deaths

After yesterday's attention-getting report of 31 new cases, today brings welcome reassurance that Nova Scotia is fundamentally in a good place right now as far as COVID is concerned. The province is reporting just three new infections on Tuesday. As if that small number isn't enough, the three new cases are outweighed by seven patients recovering, causing the caseload to drop for the first time in a couple of weeks, to 65 active cases.

There's more good news: Nobody is currently hospitalized with COVID. And although testing is well below average (local labs completed just 1,702 tests yesterday, compared to the moving daily average of nearly 2,700 tests), and the 1,558 vaccinations injected yesterday is the lowest reported total since March 14 (more than 110 days ago), none of the new cases is suspected of being community spread. "The three cases are in Central Zone," says the province in its regular weekday disease report. "Two are related to travel and one is a close contact of a previously reported case."

In fact, it may not be until you check The Coast's latest map and table of COVID cases, below, that you notice the biggest issue with today's numbers: The provincial report says there are three new cases, all in Central zone, but the data coming from the province's COVID dashboard shows just one new case. Or maybe two cases. Definitely not three, anyway.

What do we mean? Yesterday the province reported a cumulative total of 6,030 cases during the pandemic; today that number went to 6,031 cases, not the 6,033 it would be if there were three cases added. Yesterday the map of Central zone reported a total of 4,773 infections during the pandemic, and today it's showing 4,774 rather than (4,773 + 3 =) 4,776. And our table shows a single new case in both the Halifax community health network and the Dartmouth network (two new cases!), except it also has a case being taken away from the Community not known category in Central zone (two new cases minus one case leaves only one new case??).

We could go on pointing out the problem, but it wouldn't matter. The province doesn't offer any specific explanation for the discrepancy in its report, leaving any questions for the ass-covering catch-all caveat that "Cumulative cases may change as data is updated in Panorama." Panorama being the pubic health tracking system. We've asked the province to explain disappearing cases many times during the pandemic, and always received the same sort of answer that data just changes. Apparently our reality is whatever Pandora says it is.

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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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 August 30, 2021.

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