COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Tuesday, Jan 4

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.


Omicron's arrival means Nova Scotia is overwhelmed by COVID and its data-dissemination abilities are severely compromised. For the time being, these are the only infographics we can share with any confidence of accuracy:
New and active cases    Nova Scotia’s third and fourth waves  Canada’s fourth wave

Another 1,020 cases

Just like yesterday, the province is reporting 1,020 new cases in today's COVID report. The distribution of cases—which zones have how many hundreds of new infections—is different from the Monday report, however, so this much just be one of those coronavirus coincidences. How wonderfully quirky!

In other significant differences between yesterday's bare-bones report and today, when the data dashboard is up and offering its estimation that there are 6,439 active cases in Nova Scotia, the province is announcing new hospital outbreaks and increasing numbers of COVID hospitalizations. Which of these equally depressing options to start with? Let's do COVID patients in hospital.

This number is creeping up. Yesterday there were 36 people in hospital due to COVID, with four of those sick enough to require treatment in the intensive care unit; today there are 40 in hospital, and five of them in ICU. The province has some stats in today's report that say about 10 of the patients in hospital are completely unvaccinated, while around 4 of them have had a third dose of vaccine. Not actually a comforting ratio for the power of booster shots to ward off severe disease compared to no vaccination.

Then again, the whole idea of going to the hospital isn't comforting thanks to today's outbreak report. "The Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) is reporting new outbreaks at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital, Northside General Hospital and a new ward at the Victoria General site of the QEII Health Sciences Centre. Less than five patients at each facility have tested positive," says the province. Or at least five cases for now. "NSHA is reporting additional cases related to an outbreak in a ward at the Halifax Infirmary," the provincial report adds. "There are now 12 patients who have tested positive."

We're hoping for some reason for optimism at the briefing premier Tim Houston and Doctor Strang have scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday Jan 5, for 3pm. But we're not holding our breath.


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.

[embed-5]

jump back to the top


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.

jump back to the top


Canadian cases 2021-22

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.

jump back to the top


Click here for yesterday's COVID-19 news roundup, for January 3, 2022.

Video

Support The Coast

At a time when the city needs local coverage more than ever, we’re asking for your help to support independent journalism. We are committed as always to providing free access to readers, particularly as we confront the impact of COVID-19 in Halifax and beyond.

Read more about the work we do here, or consider making a donation. Thank you for your support!

Comments (0)

Add a comment

Add a Comment

Get more Halifax

The Coast Daily email newsletter is your extra dose of the city Monday through Friday. Sign up and go deep on Halifax.


Recent Comments