Strang warns of community spread in new COVID-19 cases

Strang warns of community spread in new COVID-19 cases

Community spread of COVID-19 has been identified in Nova Scotia, according to the province’s chief medical officer of health.

“There are seven cases where we can’t identify a source that is directly related to travel,” Dr. Robert Strang said during a briefing on Tuesday. “We have to conclude this may be from local transmission.”

The province is reporting three new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, in addition to the two cases related to Dartmouth-area schools that were announced late Monday.

These are the first two cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia schools. One person is at Graham Creighton Junior High in Cherry Brook and the other is at Auburn Drive High in Cole Harbour. Both are self-isolating at home.

Premier Stephen McNeil says he won’t hesitate to shut down Nova Scotia’s economy again if community spread continues. (CBC)

Premier Stephen McNeil said in the briefing that both are students.

“I understand this is very stressful and I get that you are scared. This is the first time COVID has entered our schools,” McNeil said. “I want to reassure teachers, students — and most definitely students and parents — we have a plan in place to do our best to protect you.”

Strang said the cases are linked to adults who had contracted COVID-19 from a workplace and they had attended the schools without knowing they had the virus. He said all the individuals who had contact with the students, whether in classrooms or on school buses, have been contacted and have been advised to self-isolate.

Seven teachers at Graham Creighton Junior High, two teachers at Auburn Drive High and about 55 students are isolating as a result of the two cases.

Stay in the bubble

McNeil said he doesn’t have any plans to remove Nova Scotia from the Atlantic bubble, but if community spread continues, he “won’t think twice about shutting down the economy again.”

Strang reminded Nova Scotians that it is highly discouraged to travel outside the Atlantic bubble as the province is entering the second wave of the pandemic.

“We have become complacent and people are tired … all that’s understandable and normal … but we have to step up,” he said.

The three new cases announced Tuesday were identified in the Central Zone and are close contacts of previously reported cases of the virus.

There are now 24 active cases of the virus in Nova Scotia, according to a new release from the Department of Health and Wellness.

The new cases were discovered among 966 tests completed at the Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs on Monday.

No one is currently in hospital with the virus.

So far, the province has had 123,422 negative test results, 1,151 positive COVID-19 cases and 65 deaths.

Exposure warning in Dartmouth

The Nova Scotia Health Authority has announced a new potential exposure to COVID-19 in the Dartmouth area.

Anyone who was at GCR Tire & Service Centre at 42 Isnor Dr. in Dartmouth on Nov. 13 between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. is being asked to self-monitor for symptoms, the health authority said in a release. It said anyone who was exposed to the virus at that location may develop symptoms up to and including Nov. 27.

The province has recently issued a number of potential exposure sites in the Halifax area. A list can be found here.

The latest numbers from around the Atlantic bubble are:

  • New Brunswick reported four new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the number of active cases to 32.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador reported two new cases on Tuesday. The province has nine active cases.
  • P.E.I. reported one new case Nov. 11. The province has three active cases.
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Anyone with one of the following symptoms should visit the COVID-19 self-assessment website or call 811:

  • Fever.
  • Cough or worsening of a previous cough.

Anyone with two or more of the following symptoms is also asked to visit the website or call 811:

  • Sore throat.
  • Headache.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Runny nose.
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