N.S. reports 123 COVID-19 cases Friday, mostly connected to St. FX outbreak

Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang reported 55 new cases at St. Francis Xavier University Friday, bringing the total number connected to the school up to 114. The province reported 123 COVID-19 cases on Friday. Fifty-six cases are in the central zone, 60 cases are in the eastern zone (which includes Antigonish), six in the northern zone and one case in the western zone. Strang said the province is currently dealing with a backlog in tests for the foreseeable future. The first case at St. FX was reported Tuesday. Watch Friday’s briefing with Dr. Strang: Earlier this week, Strang said he was expecting a cluster of cases at St. FX related to the X-Ring ceremony and a number of sanctioned and unsanctioned events held over Dec. 4 and 5. The president of the university said the school-sanctioned events followed public health guidelines. Strang said some of the new cases in the central zone are likely linked to the St. FX outbreak because many people travelled from Halifax for the X-Ring ceremony. He added that some students living in Antigonish who tested positive have Halifax listed on their health card, meaning they are counted in the central zone. This week dozens of exposure notifications tied to the Antigonish area were issued. Strang said if someone tests positive for COVID-19, they’re asked to identify and contact people they’ve been in close contact with. Anyone identified as a contact, regardless of vaccination status, must self-isolate for 72 hours and book a PCR test. If the test is negative, they no longer need to self-isolate. Strang expects to see more cases in the days ahead, but that people shouldn’t be too alarmed by the numbers. “We’re probably getting close to or at the peak of our cases and then we should start to see things decrease,” he said. Strang said most of the people connected to St. FX who contracted COVID-19 had at least one dose of the vaccine and that so far, all the cases have been mild. “It shows the protective effect of the vaccines, especially against severe illness,” he said. Atlantic Canada case numbers New Brunswick reported one death and 143 new cases Friday. The province has 971 active cases, with 70 people in hospital, including 34 in intensive care. Newfoundland and Labrador reported two cases Friday. The province has 13 active cases. Prince Edward Island reported seven cases on Friday. The province has 31 active cases.

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