COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Tuesday, Oct 5

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.

1 missing case?

Yesterday, Nova Scotia's data dashboard informed the world that the province has had 6,800 "cumulative cases" of COVID during the pandemic. Now that same dashboard says we've had 6,839 cases, making for a difference of 39 cases newly diagnosed.

Having 39 new cases is fine except…in its written report the province says there are 40 new cases today.

The Coast has gone down this road many many times with the province, hoping to get a useful explanation to understand discrepancies in the case numbers. Instead of an explanation, however, we've only gotten a reprise of the ass-covering language included in every report: "Cumulative cases may change as data is updated in [the public health tracking system called] Panorama." In other words, the province tells us only that discrepancies CAN happen, not WHY they happen.

In other other words, we're not bothering to ask the province to help us find today's missing case.

Instead we are going to the table The Coast makes from its analysis of that data dashboard. Today's table shows that the Sydney/Glace Bay community health network, in Cape Breton, had negative one new cases today. That likely means a case previously diagnosed in Sydney/Glace Bay turns out to be a mistake of some variety, and today it was removed from Sydney/Glace Bay's tally.

So Nova Scotia could have 40 new cases today, but the pandemic total only increased from 6,800 to 6,839 because an unrelated case was removed from that total. Perfectly sensible!

Only we're not sure how that theory is affected by today's other negative case, removed from the "Community not known" category in Central zone. Should Nova Scotia's total only be 6,838? Were there actually 41 cases today? If Panorama has the answers, it's not sharing.

40 new cases

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Reopening status
Phase 5, modified

New cases

New recoveries

New deaths

Active cases

Total cases in Nova Scotia during pandemic

Total COVID deaths

Yesterday the province announced 86 new COVID cases, and we said it was good news. Today the province is announcing 40 new cases, and we have to say the outlook isn't so great. What the heck?

Monday's report was for the whole weekend, and 86 cases spread over three days is less than 30 cases per day. Now Tuesday has 40 on its own, which is nearly the most new infections Nova Scotia's had on a single day in the fourth wave. (Thursday, Sep 23 and Wednesday, Sep 29 each had 41 new cases.)

Additionally, the caseload is up today to 248 active cases, its highest level in the Nova Scotian fourth wave. (Graph below.) And hospitalizations went up from 16 COVID patients in hospital yesterday to 17 patients today, a bit of unwelcome movement. But happily the number of those people in intensive care remains unchanged at four ICU patients.

"There are 34 cases in Central Zone, four cases in Western Zone and two cases in Northern Zone," the province says about today's 40 new cases. "There is community spread in Central Zone, primarily among people aged 20 to 40 who are unvaccinated and participating in social activities."

The Coast's analysis of the provincial data dashboard gives a more precise breakdown of locations, by visualizing what's happening in the community health networks. The map and table we produce (see below) show that the Halifax network has the bulk of today's new cases, with 25, and Dartmouth is in distant second place with six cases, followed by the Bedford/Sackville network with three.

Today's only warning of COVID exposure in a school is for Duc d'Anville Elementary, in Halifax's Clayton Park neighbourhood. Six of the 40 new cases announced Tuesday are in children 11 years old and younger, the lone age group ineligible for vaccination according to Health Canada's current guidelines.

Local labs processed 3,603 PCR tests yesterday, virtually identical to the 3,636 tests completed the day before. That's below the current average of about 4,000 tests per day.

And in what may be the brightest spot in today's report, vaccination clinics across Nova Scotia injected 3,753 arms yesterday, the most on a Monday in more than a month, dating back to August 23. Most of those jabs went to people getting their second dose, pushing the province up to 75.37 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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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 October 4, 2021.

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