COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Wednesday, Nov 24

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.

Briefing brings vaccinations for kids and an update on anti-vax provincial staff

Lots happened at today's Houstrang COVID briefing. That’s why The Coast's Lyndsay Armstrong was there, so you can get all the details from her story. But one piece of news we're happy to repeat is that Nova Scotian children from age five to 11 can start getting vaccinated next Thursday, December 2. No matter our quibbles with the government over its vax stat reporting (see below), this is a fantastic development with the potential to send Nova Scotia's vaccination rate to 90 percent territory.

A good day by the numbers

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Reopening status
Phase 5-ish

New cases

New recoveries

New deaths

Active cases

Total cases in Nova Scotia during pandemic

Total COVID deaths

With a provincial briefing coming today at 11am (we'll have further details above), the province's regular daily COVID report for Wednesday is both bare-bones and pleasantly straightforward. There are only 20 new cases today, down from 29 yesterday. With 31 recoveries, the caseload continues its two-week decline to drop to 172 active cases across Nova Scotia.

Out of those 172 people known to have COVID, just 18 of them are sick enough to be in the hospital. And out of those 18 patients in hospital, six people are so sick that they need to be in intensive care. These are the same hospitalization numbers as yesterday, no changes there.

The only issue today—and it's an issue the province doesn't explain other than to say information changes sometimes in the Panorama public health tracking system—is the relatively frequent situation where the province's written report and its data dashboard are telling different stories. The written report says there are 20 cases, broken down as 12 cases in the Central health authority zone, six in Northern zone and two in Eastern, with Western have no new cases today. The dashboard, in information we visualize for you in our map and table below, says there are only 11 cases in Central (and the same six and two in Northern and Eastern), for a total of 19 new cases today rather than 20.

The leading hotspots for those 19 cases are the Halifax community health network and the Truro/Colchester network, which each have five new cases. Bedford/Sackville follows with four cases.

The province is back to reporting vaccination numbers today, although we should admit we've been having a back-and-forth with the province for weeks about these numbers, which we haven't been able to reconcile since third-dose vaccinations became a thing. We'd hoped the recent technical issues involved getting the number reconciled, but alas no. So the dashboard today says the province is 84.4 percent vaccinated with at least one dose, and 3.6 percent of Nova Scotians have one dose right now. But as far as we can figure—and the province hasn't been able to explain why we're wrong—Nova Scotia is 83.5 percent vaxxed with at least one dose, and a mere 1.8 percent of people have just one dose (half the amount the province is reporting). These are the numbers we're reporting in our vaccination rate chart.

Are there any math fiends out there who'd like a post showing all our calculations on the province's reported numbers? We'd appreciate the help figuring out where the problem is. Get in touch with The Coast if you could handle a math-heavy post.

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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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 November 23, 2021.

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