There were 21 COVID-19 deaths reported in Nova Scotia, according to the latest weekly data report from the province. The latest figures also show 1,474 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 49 new hospitalizations during the seven-day period ending June 6.
The number of new PCR-positive tests has decreased, while hospital admissions have increased after the June 2 report’s count of 33 new admissions. According to Nova Scotia Health, there currently are 34 people in hospital — four of them in the ICU — receiving treatment for COVID-19. It also reports there are 164 people in hospital with the virus who are receiving treatment for other issues, and 63 patients who contracted COVID-19 after their admission to hospital.
At the IWK Health Centre, there are fewer than five hospitalizations for COVID-19 reported.
Two of the 21 COVID-19 deaths occurred last week, while the remaining 19 occurred between April 25 and May 30. Nineteen of the 21 victims of the virus were 70 years old or older, the age group at the highest risk of a severe COVID-19 outcome.
Since the Omicron waves began on Dec. 8, 2021, the median age of hospitalizations is 72, and the median age of people who have died is 81.
“My thoughts are with the 21 families who’ve lost their loved ones to COVID-19,” said Dr. Shelley Deeks, Nova Scotia’s deputy chief medical officer of health, in Thursday’s news release.
“As summer approaches, many of us are excited to reconnect with family and friends, but it’s important we do so safely to protect those at high risk. Gather outside when you can, stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines and, if you’re sick, please stay home.”
Nova Scotia Health data shows that vaccines continue to be effective against severe effects of COVID-19, although vaccine-related immunity wanes more quickly in people 70 and older, which led to the recommendation of second booster doses for that age group this spring. Most adults under 70 are still well protected against severe illness by their two-dose primary series plus one booster.
To date, 65.6 per cent of Nova Scotians 18 and older have received at least one booster dose, and 68,452 people have received a second.
Hospital staffing affected
As of Thursday, there are 155 Nova Scotia Health employees off work due to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, awaiting results of a COVID-19 test or being exposed to a member of their household who tested positive for the virus.
There are also 34 IWK Health Centre staff off with COVID-19, 34 of them isolating.
To ensure all Nova Scotians have access to COVID-19 testing, especially in rural communities, Public Health Mobile Units will be offering testing in all zones – https://t.co/CfaUNqgrsK
— Nova Scotia Health (@HealthNS) June 9, 2022
Over the next week, the Public Health Mobile Unit will be visiting communities where testing is not available nearby for on-site PCR testing by appontment. Drop-in PCR tests will be offered based on capacity, while residents can receive take-home rapid test kits with or without an appointment, while supplies last.
Those who require a PCR or rapid test because they are a household close contact or have symptoms are encouraged to book a test in advance to ensure the type of test needed will be available.
To book an appointment, use the online assessment form at https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/en. Anyone without internet access can book an appointment by calling 811.
Public Health Mobile Units will be on location at the following sites:
- Friday, June 10: Black Point Community Centre, 8579 St. Margarets Bay Rd., Black Point, noon to 4 p.m.
- Saturday, June 11: Lunenburg War Memorial Arena, 19 Green St., 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Sunday, June 12: Louis Millett Community Complex, 9489 Commercial St., New Minas, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Monday, June 13: Tantallon Public Library, 3646 Hammonds Plains Rd., 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Monday, June 13: Chester Legion, 14 Union St., 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Monday, June 13: Spanish River Community Centre, 1842 Kings Rd., Sydney, 1 to 5 p.m.
- Tuesday, June 14: Grandona Legion, 4237 Hwy. 223, Iona, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Tuesday, June 14: Elmsdale Legion, 850 Hwy. 2, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Tuesday, June 14: Italy Cross Fire Hall, 17722 NS-103, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Upcoming mobile unit dates can be found at www.nshealth.ca/PHMU.
For those who are considering getting tested:
- Testing is free and available to all ages that meet eligibility requirements.
- Bring your health card, if you have one.
- When picking up test kits for someone else, including children, the appointment must be in their name, and their physical health card must be presented at pickup.
- Dress accordingly in case of a wait in an outside lineup.
- Public Health Mobile Unit clinics are subject to weather conditions. Clinics may be cancelled.
- Clinics are health-care environments, and masks are required for the safety of staff and visitors. Masks will be provided upon entry to the clinic.
Nova Scotians are advised to continue monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms and are urged to follow Public Health guidelines on how to access care. Information about COVID-19 is available at novascotia.ca/coronavirus.