COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Wednesday, Aug 4 | COVID-19 | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

COVID cases and news for Nova Scotia on Wednesday, Aug 4

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.

NS vs NB vax facts

In news of interprovincial rivalries, today Nova Scotia is reporting that 64.8 percent of its population has been fully vaccinated with two doses. Next door in New Brunswick, that province tweeted that it is 68.2 percent fully vaccinated. Could New Brunswick, which cavalierly cancelled all COVID restrictions/safety measures on Friday, really be more vaccinated than careful Nova Scotia? The answer is no.

Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are counting different things. Where NS is giving the percentage of its entire population that's received two doses, New Brunswick is using only the so-called "eligible population" of people aged 12 and up that Health Canada has approved COVID vaccines for.

As The Coast explained last week, when New Brunswick's entire population is counted, its stated vaccination rate falls by about eight percentage points. So while Nova Scotia actually has 64.8 percent of the full population fully vaccinated, New Brunswick is closer to 60.2 percent.

Before Nova Scotia gets too smug, we should state that both provinces are reporting two new cases of COVID today.

2 new cases

Nova Scotia is reporting a pair of new COVID infections today. "The two cases are in Central Zone," says the province's Wednesday disease update. "One is related to travel and one is a close contact of a previously reported case."

Coast analysis of the province's data dashboard reveals that both new cases are in the Dartmouth community health network—check our map and table below—and the two new patients are a male and female, both in the 0-to-19 age group. Before today, Dartmouth's most recent new case was announced last Friday.

Three people who caught COVID recovered since yesterday. Compared with the two new cases the province is ahead by a single recovery, so Nova Scotia's caseload dropped by one, from 12 active cases Tuesday to 11 active cases today. One of those patients is sick enough to be in hospital in the ICU, a number unchanged from Friday. Five of the province's 14 health networks currently have active cases (we probably don't need to point out that the map and table show them).

Testing rebounded from the long weekend-related low reported yesterday. Local labs processed 2,564 tests on Tuesday, which is a little above the rolling 7-day average of about 2,350 tests and nearly 1,000 more than holiday Monday's testing.

Vaccinations didn't have quite the same bounce back. Clinics across the province injected just 10,242 arms yesterday, the lowest total reported by the province in seven weeks, since the 9,505 jabs announced for Tuesday, June 15. (Most weekend days have a lower average than 10,000 vaccines, but because the report with weekend numbers is adding together Friday, Saturday and Sunday shots, the reported total is higher than 10,000.)

However, most of the decline compared to recent weeks of strong vax numbers is in people getting their second dose: only 8,716 people got a second dose yesterday, while there were over 12,000 a week earlier. More than 1,500 Nova Scotians received their first dose Tuesday, which is slightly higher than last Tuesday's number.

Dealing with long COVID

“Recovering from COVID-19 is different for everyone,” says Christy Bussey, the doctor leading COVID inpatient service at Halifax's QEII Health Sciences Centre. “Some people feel better in a few weeks. For others, it may take months." Today the province launched an online resource, My COVID Recovery, for people to understand and deal with lingering effects. “Our hope is that this website will help individuals navigate their journey and support them as they work with their health care providers toward recovery,” Bussey says in the Nova Scotia Health press release about the site.

Long-haul COVID goes by many names, including post-COVID syndrome, long COVID and PASC (that's post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2). Nova Scotia's new information site seems to studiously avoid all of them, so we can't definitively say the province is trying to address questions from C19 long haulers. (We've asked NS Health for clarification about this.)

But the list of chronic COVID symptoms published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention matches up very closely with Nova Scotia's list of "the most common symptoms people experience after having COVID-19." Both lists mention "brain fog," for example, as well as cough, diarrhea, chest pain, headache, joint or muscle pain, symptoms that get worse after physical activity, trouble breathing, trouble sleeping and fatigue.

So if you've been diagnosed with COVID and are having any of those symptoms longer than you think you should, or have questions about long COVID no matter what the province calls it, check out the site. Just be prepared for some of your questions to go answered, at least for the time being. "Research is still being done and there is a lot that we still do not know," warns the welcome page. "We want to support you with the most up-to-date information for managing your health."

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

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. Note: As of July 23, 2021, the province stopped updating case numbers on weekends.

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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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Click here for yesterday's COVID-19 news roundup, for August 3, 2021.

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