Nova Scotia is reporting a new case of COVID-19 on Tuesday, with 27 cases active in the province.
The new case is in the central health zone of the province and is a close contact to a case previously reported, according to a press release from the Department of Health and Welfare.
At a meeting this afternoon, the province also announced mandatory tests for rotary workers who return to Nova Scotia after working in another part of the country.
The high number of cases, especially in Alberta, where many from Nova Scotia work, is worrying, Prime Minister Stephen McNeil said at a news conference on Tuesday.
Currently, rotating workers are asked to take the test in the first two days of their return to Nova Scotia, and again about a week later.
“Not all rotating workers are doing it, and that is a problem,” he said.
Dr. Robert Strang said that only about a third of rotating workers are actually taking the test.
As of Friday, the COVID-19 test will be mandatory for rotating workers working outside Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.
The audits will be completed and rotating workers will be contacted by phone to remind them of the need to take the test. Those who do not take the test will be fined $ 1,000.
Regardless of the test results, rotating workers must complete their modified 14-day self-isolation.
Funding for universities
The province will spend $ 25 million to help Nova Scotia’s universities manage the financial impact of the pandemic, according to a press release from the Department of Labor and Advanced Education on Tuesday.
The funding is intended to help with revenue lost in 2020-2021 related to tuition and residence fees, and costs related to the pandemic surrounding curriculum development, information technology and increased cleanliness.
The money will be distributed to 10 Nova Scotia universities based on information provided to the province about expenses incurred in response to the pandemic.
Dalhousie University will receive the bulk of the funding, close to $ 9.5 million. Atlantic School of Theology is receiving the smallest installment, about $ 218,000.
Funding is intended only for university institutions – Nova Scotia Community College is not listed among beneficiaries.
Returning students are encouraged to take the test
Five cases have been identified at Nova Scotia universities in January, including two on Monday, when students return from winter break.
The province is urging students who have returned from Atlantic provinces to schedule a COVID-19 test on the sixth, seventh or eighth quarantine day, regardless of symptoms.
All students who show symptoms of COVID-19 must complete a form self-evaluation online or call 811. Students must still complete the 14 day isolation period, even with a negative test result.
Multiple fines issued
Police in Halifax claim to have issued fines for non-compliance with public health regulations in two separate incidents last weekend.
Halifax Regional Police said the first incident happened at 9:30 pm on Friday, after they received a report that a delivery driver for a restaurant in Bedford did not wear a mask when delivering orders to a building.
Police officers issued a $ 1,000 summary crime fine to the man for violating the Health Protection Act, according to a press release sent on Tuesday.
Current COVID regulations require people to wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth while in an indoor public space, which includes construction lobbies.
Police confirmed on Tuesday that the incident was not connected to Hellas restaurant in Lower Sackville, whose owner was also fined on Friday for not wearing a mask.
Police responded to a separate incident at 12:30 pm Sunday at a Halifax residence.
There was a report of a social meeting that exceeded the limit of 10 people. A police spokesman, Const. John MacLeod said there were approximately 20 people in the residence.
The police issued tickets to three men, the residents of the house, and each was fined $ 1,000.
More vaccinations begin in NS
On Monday, a nurse from Cape Breton went to first to be immunized outside the Halifax region and the province has also started vaccinating Northwood long-term care residents.
Strang called this a “defining moment” in the province’s immunization campaign, adding that more than 3,300 vaccines have been administered in the province so far.
By the end of January, Strang said vaccination sites will be installed at four hospitals outside Halifax and six long-term care centers in the province.
Immunizations with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine began in the western health zone on Tuesday, starting at Valley Regional Hospital in Kentville.
Phase 1 vaccinations in the west will be limited to health professionals and caregivers assigned to long-term care facilities, according to a government spokesman.
To combat misinformation and skepticism about the vaccine, Strang said the province is working on a communication strategy before Phase 2 vaccinations start to be launched in the spring.
Atlantic Canada case numbers
The latest COVID-19 numbers for the Atlantic provinces are:
- New Brunswick reported 17 new cases on Tuesday and 219 active cases. The province also reports two deaths, bringing the total to 11 since the pandemic began. Each zone in the province has reverted to the orange phase restrictions to deal with the growing number of cases.
- Newfoundland and Labrador did not report any new cases on Monday. There are five active cases in the province, with one person hospitalized.
- PEI reported a new case on Tuesday – the person traveled outside Atlantic Canada and is isolating himself. There are now eight active cases on the island.