COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Wednesday, Dec 29

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.


Between the holidays and the outbreak, the limited information coming from the province allows us to offer this limited lineup of infographics:
New and active cases    Nova Scotia’s third and fourth waves    Canada’s fourth wave

586 new cases

We are now far enough after the Christmas statutory holidays, and far enough before the New Year-related holidays, to get the maximum COVD information the province is able to provide in the middle of this overwhelming surge. It's not much. The data dashboard has no info about cases in the community health networks, or breakdowns by age and/or gender. We are still trying to figure out how Nova Scotia calculates its vaccination rates. In short, these daily reports are going to be thin until 2022.

Today Nova Scotia report 586 new infections. "There are 393 cases in Central Zone, 106 cases in Eastern Zone, 56 cases in Northern Zone and 31 cases in Western Zone," says the provincial report. Six of those cases are patients at St. Martha's Regional Hospital, the Antigonish site of one of several healthcare-related outbreaks the province is dealing with. There are no new cases today at the Halifax Infirmary or Dartmouth General hospital outbreaks, and no indication of fresh infections at the various nursing home outbreaks.

The province estimates there are currently 5,053 active COVID cases in Nova Scotia. There are now 24 patients in hospital, up from the 15 reported yesterday. But where four of those patients were sick enough to require the ICU yesterday, today there are only three people in ICU.


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.

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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. 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.

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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 December 28, 2021.

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