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NS COVID-19 rally: 60 in hospital, including child under 5

Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston said as of Wednesday 60 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, including a child under the age of five.

Among those hospitalized:

  • five are in intensive care;
  • the average age is 66; and
  • 58 were admitted during the Omicron variant wave.

According to Houston, 25% of people hospitalized are not vaccinated against COVID-19.

Two more deaths linked to the virus were also reported on Wednesday. No further details have been provided by the province at this time.

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

SCHOOL UPDATE

Houston says students will return to in-person learning on Monday, Jan.17, as scheduled.

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

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

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

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

BOOSTER UPDATE

Houston said 17,104 booster doses of COVID-19 were administered to Nova Scotians on Tuesday – a single-day record for the province.

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

As of Wednesday, 49.6 percent of eligible Nova Scotians had received their booster shots or had made an appointment.

QUICK TEST UPDATE

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang says he has heard from many people who are confused and even angry about the changes to Nova Scotia’s testing strategy.

Strang said the province is still experiencing rapid test supply issues, which he says are being experienced in provinces across the country.

Strang says as of Wednesday there were just over a million rapid tests in Nova Scotia.

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

  • Testing centers for people who are showing symptoms or who have been identified as close contact
  • Epidemic tests, eg. in long-term care facilities
  • In workplaces where employees support vulnerable populations that are at higher risk of serious consequences, such as long-term care homes, correctional facilities and shelters
  • Schools for children and staff
  • Community distribution centers for areas where the number of cases is increasing

“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 qualify,” Strang said. “It’s the reality of dealing with a limited supply.”

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

COVID ALERT APPLICATION

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

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

LIST OF SYMPTMS

Anyone who experiences a new or worsening cough, or has two or more of the following symptoms, should self-isolate and take an online COVID-19 self-assessment test, or call 811, to determine if she should be tested. COVID-19[FEMALE:[FEMININE:

  • fever (chills, sweating)
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • shortness of breath
  • runny nose / nasal congestion