COVID cases, hospitalizations and news for Nova Scotia over the January 22-23 weekend

All the information as we can provide while NS struggles to keep up with the pandemic’s omicron wave.


Omicron's arrival means Nova Scotia is overwhelmed by COVID and its data-dissemination abilities are severely compromised. For the time being, these are the only infographics we can share with any confidence of accuracy: Omicron hospitalizations    New and active cases    Nova Scotia’s third and fourth waves    Canada’s fourth wave

Sunday is steady for hospitalizations

Nova Scotia's abbreviated disease report for Sunday is less interesting than yesterday's (see below), when a new high for total COVID-related hospitalizations was reached. Today the total remains 287 patients in hospital with COVID, the same as Saturday, although the number of patients in a designated COVID unit is up from 82 yesterday to 85 today. (Declines in non-severe COVID cases and people who caught the disease in the hospital offset that increase. Our chart below explains.)

As for new cases, there are 503 today, the slightest increase from the 502 announced yesterday. The 503 cases are spread across Nova Scotia as 256 cases in the Central health zone, 108 in Western zone, 76 in Eastern and 63 Northern.


Hospitalizations hit a new high on Saturday

The Saturday COVID report from the province is "abbreviated" the same way it was last weekend, giving only basic numbers. There are 502 new infections today, a drop of nearly 100 from the 602 announced yesterday. And the number of COVID-specific hospitalizations fell from 94 patients yesterday to 82 today (with the number of those patients in ICU falling by two to 11).

Like last weekend, in its abbreviation the province hasn't given its weekday-standard breakdown of the vaccination status of patients in a designated COVID unit. So in our hospitalizations chart, we designated all 82 as "In COVID unit, vax status unknown." On Monday their vaccination status will likely be restored, but for now you can still get a sense from the chart of how today's mark of 287 total hospitalizations—a new record high for Nova Scotia's pandemic—compares to yesterday's 280 mark, the previous record.

In another throwback to last weekend, the abbreviated report has no estimate of the active caseload, so we have not updated our graph of active cases below, and in the graph of new, average and active cases, we are using yesterday's caseload number.


Hospitalizations during omicron

Early in 2022, Nova Scotia subtly shifted attention from new COVID cases to people actually in hospital with the disease, and as part of that shift started reporting the vaccination status of patients "receiving specialized care in a COVID-19 designated unit." On Jan 12—the day the bars on the following chart jump way up—the province added two more categories of hospitalized COVID patient to its daily reports. One is "people who were identified as positive upon arrival to hospital but were admitted for another medical reason or people who were admitted for COVID-19 but no longer require specialized care." (These patients are categorized as "Non-severe COVID case" on the chart.) The other category is category is "people who contracted COVID-19 after being admitted to hospital," as the province puts it, termed "Caught COVID in hospital" on the chart. You can filter categories in and out by clicking the labels near the top of the chart, but whatever numbers you are considering, the province points out it's "important to note that less than 10 percent of Nova Scotians are unvaccinated."

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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 2021-22

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 the previous COVID-19 news roundup, for January 21, 2022.

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