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COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Wednesday, June 2 

Updates including briefings, 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.


17 new cases

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Reopening status
Phase 1

New cases
17

New recoveries
72

New deaths
2

Active cases
311

Days in a row with cases
65

Total cases in Nova Scotia during pandemic
5,595

Total COVID deaths
87

Today's COVID case report from the province definitely has some rain for the parade that is the first day of Nova Scotia's cautious reopening. As well as two people dying (see below), there are 17 new cases—that's up from yesterday, the first day of increasing cases after four days in a row of declines. Seventeen isn't a huge number, especially compared to the 83 reported just two weeks ago today, but we were hoping for something lower. Something much closer to zero. Such as zero.

That's right, we wanted zero new cases on patio day, not an uptick. Maybe we're delusional after 40 days in lockdown, and mistaken a little bit of freedom for the second coming. But we've had new cases every day for the last 65 days, after an extended stretch of limited COVID that was literally the envy of the world. Is a day without death and disease so much to ask for here in this former COVID oasis? (Yes. The answer is apparently yes. Active cases continue to fall, however, hitting just 311 today. Check our recoveries graph, too.)

Those 17 new cases are spread across all four health zones: 12 cases in Central (eight of them close contacts of previous cases, two travel-related and two under investigation), three Eastern (all close contacts), one Northern (travel) and one Western (under investigation). For the breakdown of cases in the community health networks, our map and table are at your service.

Just like yesterday, there are 38 people in hospital with COVID, 15 of them in ICU. There were 4,254 tests completed yesterday, well below the current daily average of 5,200. And just 5,717 doses of vaccine were delivered yesterday, way off the pace from the 10,999 delivered last Tuesday.


2 deaths, 1 VIIT

We may be at the first day of the first phase of reopening, but it's not a time for unbridled celebration. In Wednesday's update, Nova Scotia is reporting two more COVID-related deaths. "Two men, both in their 60s, have died in Central Zone," the province says. During the pandemic, 87 people have died from the disease, 22 of them in 2021.

Also today, the province's first case (a non-fatal case) of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia has been confirmed. That's VIIT, the blood-clotting issue associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine. "The person is a man in his 40s who received his first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in early May. He developed symptoms about two weeks after vaccination. He received treatment and is recovering," says the province.

Coincidentally, the province just brought AstraZeneca back into limited use (see below), giving people who got one dose the option to have their second be AZ. “All COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada protect against severe illness or death from the virus, but we know there is a risk of developing a rare blood clotting condition for some people with the AstraZeneca vaccine,” says CMOH Robert Strang via today's report.

“We have a process in place to monitor and report adverse events related to vaccinations in the province. Anyone who experiences an adverse event as a result of vaccination should report it to their health-care provider or seek immediate medical attention if it is an emergency.”


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.


AstraZeneca’s return

Late in the day yesterday, the province announced that the AstraZeneca vaccine is going to be used again in Nova Scotia, "for second doses only." Effective immediately, people whose first dose was AstraZeneca can choose their second dose to be from Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Moderna.

This only effects anyone who got the AstraZeneca shot, a group the province says is about 58,000 people. If your first shot wasn't AZ, your second shot can't be AZ, either. And if you haven't been vaccinated yet, AZ won't be on offer to you at all.

Nova Scotia suspended the use AstraZeneca on May 12, over concerns about it causing blood clots. Ontario had also paused AZ, but started up again May 21. It took Nova Scotia a little longer to decide.

"The decision comes after the National Advisory Committee on Immunization updated its guidance on the interchangeability of COVID-19 vaccines approved for use by Health Canada," says the announcement. "The province has about 2,000 doses of AstraZeneca set to expire at the end of the month. If this supply is used and there is more demand for AstraZeneca second doses, the province will request more AstraZeneca vaccine from the federal government."

Everybody who got AZ is supposed to receive an email about rescheduling second-dose appointments. "Notices will be issued starting this week," says the province, "and will continue to be sent out over the coming weeks."


Happy first day of reopening, everybody 🌞

Day 1 of Phase 1 is here, and with it comes three huge changes to lockdown life across Nova Scotia. 1. Outdoor gathering is now allowed (with conditions). 2. Bar and restaurant patios are open (with conditions). 3. Students are back in their classrooms again (with conditions, including that Halifax and Sydney schools aren't opening until tomorrow).

For a sense of the conditions, we've got a story about Phase 1 here, and the province's official reopening plan page is here. Plus The Coast has a fun but informative timeline off all five phases of the reopening plan here.

Have an excellent day out there!


Strankin speaking at 3pm

The province helpfully released this week's Monday/Wednesday/Friday COVID-19 briefing schedule the other day, allowing everyone to do some pre-planning, so we know premier Iain Rankin and chief medical officer of health Robert Strang are hosting one this afternoon. It will be at 3pm (the province suggested an earlier time when it released the schedule, which did indeed turn out to be aspirational). You can watch the Wednesday briefing live at novascotia.ca/stayinformed/webcast and/or @nsgov on Facebook, or catch it later at the Nova Scotia government's YouTube page.


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.


New and active cases visualized

This interactive graph charts COVID activity in Nova Scotia's third wave, comparing daily new cases with that day’s active caseload. The dark line tracks the rise and fall of new infections reported by the province, which hit a Nova Scotian pandemic record high of 227 cases in a single day on May 7. The green area is the province's caseload, which peaked May 10 at 1,655 active cases. Click or however over any point on the graph and the detail for that moment will pop up. To focus on just new or active cases, you can click the legend at the top left of the graph to hide or reveal that data set.


Recoveries and infections graphed

A person who tests positive for COVID-19 counts as a new case, the beginning of a problem for both the province and that person. The best ending to the problem is the patient recovers from the disease. This interactive chart compares how many problems started (the red area of new cases) to how many ended (the blue area's recoveries) each day in Nova Scotia's third wave, revealing growth trends along the way. Click or hover over any point on the graph and the detail for that day will pop up, to reveal exactly how quickly things change: May 7 had Nova Scotia's most-ever infections diagnosed in one day, 227 new cases, more than triple the 71 recoveries that day. Two weeks later, May 21, had a record recoveries, 197 in a day, more than double the 84 new cases. To focus on just new cases or recoveries, you can click the legend at the top left of the graph to hide or reveal that data set.


Click here for yesterday's COVID-19 news roundup, for June 1, 2021.

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