COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Wednesday, Oct 13

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.

New and active cases keep dropping

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Reopening status
Phase 5 (with variations)

New cases

New recoveries

New deaths

Active cases

Total cases in Nova Scotia during pandemic

Total COVID deaths

Wednesday brings news of 24 new COVID cases in the province's daily report, a drop from the average of 24.75 cases per day over the long weekend—which was down from the 25 cases reported Friday. Yes, we realize the decline from 25 to 24.75 to 24 is not huge by any measure. But in this stupid pandemic, we'll take it as a win.

More significantly, the number of people recovering from the disease has been outpacing the new infections, so the active caseload has been falling, too. Today marks a full week of steady declines, as the caseload has fallen with every report since last Wednesday, dropping from 254 to today's 187 active cases. Check it out on the graph of active and new cases below.

Unfortunately one other key measure of COVID status—the number of people in hospital with the disease—is going the wrong direction. There were 15 hospitalizations yesterday, and 16 today. But the number of those people who are in intensive care stayed even from one day to the other, at two ICU patients, which is a definite win.

Today's new cases are mostly in the Central health authority zone, says the province in its report—23 of the 24 total cases—while Western zone has the other case. But the province's data dashboard is reporting slightly different numbers on its maps of cases in the health zones and community health networks, which inform our map and table below. At the dashboard, there are 22 cases in Central (as opposed to 23 in the written report), one in Western (the same as the written report) and negative one in Eastern zone (which isn't mentioned in the written report), for a total of just 22 new cases throughout the province today (while the written report says there are 24 new cases).

The province's explanation for this discrepancy is sure to be either a slight variation on, or a verbatim repetition of, the ass-covering language in every day's written report: "Cumulative cases may change as data is updated in Panorama." (Panorama is the name of the public health tracking system.) We have asked the province for clarification of little anomalies many times throughout the pandemic, and the answer has never changed, so we are not even bothering to ask the province about today's two missing cases specifically. Until there is a major discrepancy that demands more explanation, we will just have to accept that cases can change as information in Panorama is updated.

The possibility that there are 22 new cases is repeated in the breakdown of case information by age and gender that's also found in the dashboard. The Coast tracks changes in that information day to day in order to be able to report trends and changes to you; today we found that 12 of today's 22 cases (or maybe it's 24 cases) are in children in the 0-11-years-old group, the only Nova Scotians who are ineligible for COVID vaccines according to Health Canada guidelines. Whether it's 12 out of 22 cases or out of 24 cases, it's a very high proportion—at least half—of today's infections.

At the provincial listing of exposures in schools, five schools received warnings yesterday. They are Portland Estates Elementary and Ellenvale Junior High in Dartmouth, and the Halifax schools Rockingstone Heights, Citadel High and Joseph Howe Elementary.

Testing fell to 2,034 tests processed yesterday, down from the 2,334 tests reported the day before. That is the lowest number of tests reported in more than six weeks, dating back to the 1,702 completed tests reported Tuesday, August 31.

But vaccinations are up, with 5,362 jabs delivered into arms across Nova Scotia yesterday, the most since there were 6,288 shots reported Friday, Oct 1. And that Friday report was for two days—Wednesday Sep 29 and the Truth and Reconciliation Day holiday Thursday Sep 30. With those injections yesterday, the province continued its slow, steady climb, reaching 76.4 percent of the population fully vaccinated (the vax rate chart is below), and 81.9 percent with either one or two doses. That statistic of people with one or two doses suggests the upper limit of vaccine uptake in the province, and currently it is also growing. Slowly.

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 12, 2021.

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