COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Wednesday, Dec 8

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 Canadian COVID rarity

Cases across the country are going up, now averaging more than 3,000 new infections every day as you can see on our graph of Canadian COVID further down this page. But you know what's weird? Even with so many cases reported daily, it's extremely rare that all 13 provinces and territories get new cases on the same day.

Today, however, is one of those days. From Quebec and its 1,367 new cases, to Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, each with a single case, every part of Canada is reporting new infections on Wednesday.

The last time there was such national COVID unity was more than three months ago, on April 26, 2021—just after the third wave peaked.


Data dashboard is working

At long last—hey, a day can be a long time—Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 data dashboard has been repaired. That means our map and table of case locations now have new information, as does our chart of infections in children.

Just be aware, the numbers showing for today in these data visualization are catching up for today and yesterday, so they are inflated compared to today's written report from the province. For instance, the province is reporting 34 new COVID cases, but adding up the numbers on the table shows 54 cases.


34 new cases and a rise to 162 active cases

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Reopening status
Phase 4.5

New cases
34

New recoveries
18

New deaths
0

Active cases
162

Total cases in Nova Scotia during pandemic
8,481

Total COVID deaths
110

Nova Scotia is reporting 34 new cases of COVID today, and they're scattered across all four health authority zones. "There are 14 cases in Eastern Zone, 13 cases in Central Zone, six cases in Northern Zone and one case in Western Zone," the Wednesday report says. "There is a cluster of cases in a localized community in Northern Zone and there is also evidence of limited community spread in Halifax and parts of northern Nova Scotia."

To go with the 34 new infections, only 18 people recovered from COVID, so the active caseload increases to 162 active cases. This uptick comes after three reports in a row of decline.

In other unwelcome news, the provincial report has some details about the "outbreak at St. Francis Xavier University" that was announced in Tuesday's pandemic briefing. "Twenty-one people have tested positive for COVID-19. Today’s case count includes the 12 cases announced by the university Tuesday, December 7. Some cases connected to this outbreak came in after the cut-off for reporting and will be included in Thursday’s case and COVID-19 data dashboard updates."


There's *no* briefing on Wednesday

If you're anything like us, you woke up this morning and immediately went online to find out if the province has fixed its broken COVID data dashboard problem yet. Then when you discovered the dashboard still hasn't been updated, you went to the province's main COVID information page just in case there was any news about the dashboard, where you found a note that suggests Nova Scotia is having another COVID briefing today, Dec 8 at 3pm, hot on the heels of yesterday's Dec 7 briefing. Then you totally freaked out, because at this point in the pandemic it would take something like Doctor Strang catching the omicron variant to cause the province to have two briefings in a row.

Here's what the NS C19 page looked like this morning (red box added to emphasize the Dec 8 alert).

Finally, after a deep breath or two, you realized it might just be a mistake. So you sent an email off to the province's COVID communications team to make sure. And the reply—"No, there is no newser today. It is in error and will be removed asap."—let you relax and carry on with your day.

As of this writing the main COVID page has been fixed. But the data dashboard hasn't.


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 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.

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Infections in Nova Scotian children 11 and younger

On December 1, 2021, two things happened that change the pandemic for Nova Scotians aged 11 and younger: the province started vaccinations for kids from five to 11 years old, and it imposed a travel ban to stop children under 12 from leaving Nova Scotia to participate in sporting events or arts performances. So at The Coast we were inspired us to graph infections in this population, dating back to October 4 when the provincial COVID data dashboard first started reporting infection information specifically for the 0-to-11 age group. While the number of infections in kids ages five to 11 was high enough around the end of November to necessitate the travel ban, vaccinations should bring the infection rate down by early 2022.

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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 December 7, 2021.

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