COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Friday, Jun 25 | COVID-19 | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Friday, Jun 25

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.

Swabs, jabs and hospitals

Despite today's 16 new cases and the accompanying slight increase in active caseload (see below), the number of COVID patients in hospital across the province dropped from yesterday. The province says there are two C19 hospitalizations, and neither of them are in intensive care. Nobody was in the ICU on Tuesday, either, but before that, the last time Nova Scotia had zero COVID patients in the ICU was April 25.

Provincial labs processed 3,321 tests yesterday, which is below the current daily average of almost 3,500. And because there were so many new cases, the positivity rate is relatively high at .48 percent of tests being positive. For context, over the last seven days before today, the province was testing at just .08 percent positivity.

Finally, today's report shows another big day for vaccinations. Clinics across the province injected 19,129 doses into arms yesterday, more than 5,000 shots above the current daily average and the second-highest daily total of the week. And with that, we won't get any more information about Nova Scotia's vaccine rollout until Monday, because vax stats aren't reported on the weekend.

16 new cases đź‘€

Friday, June 25, 2021

Reopening status
Phase 2

New cases

New recoveries

New deaths

Active cases

Days in a row with cases

Total cases in Nova Scotia during pandemic

Total COVID deaths

We'll start our case report with some good news today: The Northern health authority zone just went completely COVID-free.

Its most-recent new case was exactly two weeks ago—the standard measure of a full COVID-19 incubation cycle—and as of today its four remaining active patients have recovered from the disease. This feat has been a long time coming. It was 66 days ago, on April 20, that Northern zone was last at zero active cases. Props to the North for seeing it through!

And now for the other kind of news. Nova Scotia is reporting 16 new cases of COVID today (yes, one-six). Most of the infections are in Central zone's Halifax community health network; our map and table of the networks have the details. Only 15 infected people recovered since yesterday's report, so after seven straight days of declines the province's active caseload increases by a single patient to 60 active cases. Sixteen new cases is the highest on a day since there were 17 fresh infections June 8. (Our graph of active cases and funky chart of recoveries are below.)

Getting an infection spike feels like a setback after we had not one but TWO days with zero new case this week. To punctuate that feeling, today the province announced that the state of emergency has been extended for yet another two weeks.

Don’t worry, it’s just a linked group of families

The province's Friday report seems to suggest that today's batch of 16 new cases isn't as bad as it sounds. "Fifteen of the cases are in Central Zone," the report says. "Eleven are close contacts and four are related to travel. The close contacts are within a linked group of families and do not represent wide community spread." (The sixteenth case is a travel-related infection in the Eastern zone.)

But the idea of "a linked group of families" only creates confusion and concern, not comfort. It would be much better for the province to explain what is going on, rather than toss around some term that literally nobody has ever used to describe human interactions.

Are these 11 people all related to each other? Was there some kind of family reunion that brought them together to spread the disease? Did it involve a barbecue like the one that kicked off Nova Scotia's third wave of COVID? Were they indoors, which would be illegal under Phase 2 gathering rules? Or are there different families? How many? Out of the 15 cases in Central zone, the province says "two are connected to Joseph Howe Elementary and the other is connected to St. Joseph’s-Alexander McKay Elementary," which makes us wonder: Are they part of the 11-case grouping? Are we calling the dozens and dozens of families connected to any school all one big "linked group of families" now? If three school cases spawned eight cases outside school, wouldn't "exponential growth" be the more accurate and widely understood phrase?

Trying to parse the provincial report for answer and understanding, we came across this quote from top doc Robert Strang. “Today’s cases are a bit higher than what we have seen lately, but the majority of our new cases are close contacts of previously reported cases,” he says. “This is an important reminder that while we are reopening and easing restrictions, it is important to keep your social circles small, get vaccinated as soon as you can and get tested often.”

By putting so much attention on close contacts and small social circles, Strang is clearly concerned about the risks of getting together. It would just be nice to know—now that 25 people are legally allowed to socialize outdoors without masks—how small is small enough.

Recent days of reports

Hi everyone. The Coast had some technical issues over the last couple of days with these daily COVID updates, and we didn't get a report out on Wednesday or Thursday. We apologize for that. The problems at our end have been resolved—all the graphs below are up to date as of the latest information from Thursday's provincial numbers—and not only are we back on track, but we're planning to go back and fill in the numbers from the missing days in order to maintain the complete daily record. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Average and daily new cases

Knowing the average number of new cases Nova Scotia has every day—the orange area in this graph—is useful to show the trend of infections without one day's ups or downs distorting the picture. Having the daily new cases as well, the dark line on the graph, gives a sense of how each day compares to the average. We use the rolling (AKA moving or running) 7-day average of daily data reported by the province; here's a good explainer of what a rolling average is.

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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.)

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