60 people hospitalized due to COVID-19 in N.S., including a child under the age of 5



Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston says, as of Wednesday, there are 60 people in hospital that were admitted due to COVID-19, including a child under the age of five. 


Of those in hospital:


  • five are in intensive care;

  • the average age is 66; and

  • 58 were admitted during the Omicron variant wave.


Public health says there are also two other groups of people in hospital related to COVID-19:


  • 40 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

  • 94 people who contracted COVID-19 after being admitted to hospital.


The average length of stay of those admitted to hospital due to COVID-19 is 5.8 days, according to Houston.


The vaccination status of those in hospital is:


  • five (8.3 per cent) people have had a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine

  • 36 (60 per cent) are fully vaccinated (two doses)

  • three (5 per cent) are partially vaccinated

  • 15 (25 per cent) are unvaccinated.

  • one (1.7 per cent) person’s vaccination status is unknown at this time.


One additional death related to the virus was also reported on Wednesday, involving a woman in her 60s in Western zone.


“My heart goes out to another Nova Scotia family who’s lost a loved one to COVID-19,” said Houston. “This is another painful reminder that just because it’s a mild illness for you doesn’t mean it can’t cause severe illness or the death of someone in your circles. Each of us has a responsibility to protect our loved ones and our communities by following the public health rules.”


To date, there have been 117 deaths in Nova Scotia related to COVID-19.


SCHOOL UPDATE


Houston says students will be returning to in-person learning on Monday, Jan. 17 as planned.


He also says the ventilation systems ordered for 71 schools arrived on Monday and have been distributed to classrooms across the province.


Approximately 25,000 COVID-19 rapid tests will also be distributed to nearly 400 schools based on their enrollment.


“Those tests will be available based on a need for testing,” said Houston. “So, primarily for students and staff who come to school symptomatic or develop symptoms while at school.”


According to Houston, three-layer masks will be made available for students and teachers upon their return.


BOOSTER UPDATE


On Tuesday, Houston says 17,104 COVID-19 booster doses were administered into the arms of Nova Scotians – a single-day record for the province.


At the height of the vaccine rollout in 2021, Houston says Nova Scotia was administering about 12,000 shots per day.


As of Wednesday, 49.6 per cent of eligible Nova Scotians have either received their booster shot or have their appointment booked.


VACCINE UDPATE


As of Tuesday, Jan. 11, 1,887,927 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered.


Of those, 90.3 per cent of Nova Scotians have received their first dose, and 83.0 per cent have received their second dose.


RAPID TEST UPDATE


Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, says he has heard from many people who are confused and even angry in regards to the changes to Nova Scotia’s testing strategy.


Strang explained that the province is still experiencing supply issues with rapid tests, which he says is being experienced in provinces across the country.


Strang says as of Wednesday, there are just over one-million rapid tests in Nova Scotia.


He says that’s why the province has changed its strategy to better focus on the following areas:


  • Testing centres for people who have symptoms or have been identified as a close contact

  • Outbreak testing, for ex. at long-term care facilities

  • At workplaces where employees support vulnerable populations that are greater risk of severe outcome, like long-term care homes, correctional facilities and shelters

  • Schools for children and staff

  • Community distribution centres for areas that have a surge in cases


“Rapid tests were once readily available for most Nova Scotians but now you need an appointment to get a rapid test and not everyone will be eligible to get one,” said Strang. “This is the reality of dealing with limited supply.”


According to Houston, Nova Scotia goes through about 830,000 rapid tests per week.


CASES AND TESTING


On Tuesday, Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) labs completed 5,132 tests.


Public health identified an additional 837 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19.


Of the new cases:


  • 500 are in the Central zone

  • 109 are in the Eastern zone

  • 106 are in the Northern zone

  • 122 are in the Western zone


COVID ALERT APP


Canada’s COVID Alert app is available in Nova Scotia.


The app, which can be downloaded through the Apple App Store or Google Play, notifies users if they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.


LIST OF SYMPTOMS


Anyone who experiences a new or worsening cough, or who has two or more of the following symptoms, needs to self-isolate and take an online COVID-19 self-assessment test, or call 811, to determine if they need to be tested for COVID-19:


  • fever (chills, sweats)

  • sore throat

  • headache

  • shortness of breath

  • runny nose/nasal congestion



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