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175 new COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday

There are 40 people in hospital, including nine in ICU
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NEWS RELEASE
COVID-19/HEALTH/WELLNESS
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Nova Scotia is reporting 175 new cases of COVID-19 today, May 5.

There are 149 cases in Central Zone, 13 in Eastern Zone, nine in Western Zone and four in Northern Zone.

There is community spread in Central Zone. The Eastern, Northern and Western Zones continue to be closely monitored for community spread.

As reported April 30, due to the volume of testing in the province, there was a backlog at the Nova Scotia Health Authority lab and in public health's case data entry into Panorama. The backlog at the lab has been resolved. The lab is now processing tests within 48-72 hours. Public health also continues to work through the backlog in case contact and data entry into Panorama and that is expected to be resolved in the coming days.

Given high testing volumes, it may take Nova Scotians up to five to seven days to learn test results via the 1-844 COVID test results phone line. People tested due to a potential exposure, because they have symptoms, or were advised by public health to self-isolate until receiving test results, should continue to self-isolate until they receive a negative result. Close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases and those who were present at high-risk exposure locations are required to self-isolate for a full 14 days, regardless of test result.

"We're still dealing with very high case numbers that do involve the variants," said Premier Iain Rankin. "I want to thank all Nova Scotians for following the restrictions. Please continue to do your part to protect your province and keep each other safe."

As of today, Nova Scotia has 1,203 active cases of COVID-19. There are 40 people in hospital, including nine in ICU.

On May 4, Nova Scotia Health Authority's labs completed 11,506 tests.

As of May 4, 334,775 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Of those, 36,858 Nova Scotians have received their second dose.

"Case numbers continue to be very high and that's not unexpected," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health "As the lab worked through its backlog, positive cases were added into our data system and the data entry is still a bit behind. That delay is reflected in the high numbers we're still seeing. The team is working hard and I expect data entry will catch up quickly. We should not take any comfort from this - even without a lag our numbers would still be too high. Nova Scotians need to stay the course and follow restrictions."

Since April 1, there have been 1,440 positive COVID-19 cases and three deaths. Cases range in age from under 10 to over 90. There are 234 resolved cases. Cumulative cases may change as data is updated in Panorama.

Nova Scotia is currently under stronger restrictions to protect public health. Information at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/restrictions-and-guidance/ .

Nova Scotians are strongly encouraged to use pop-up sites if they are not showing symptoms but want to be tested. Rapid testing pop-up sites continue to be set up around the province. More information on testing can be found at https://www.nshealth.ca/coronavirustesting .

Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing has reopened at the primary assessment centres across the province. To book an appointment, visit: https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/en

Visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/ to do a self-assessment if in the past 48 hours you have had or you are currently experiencing mild symptoms, including:

-- fever (i.e. chills/sweats) or cough (new or worsening)
-- sore throat
-- runny nose/nasal congestion
-- headache
-- shortness of breath/difficulty breathing

Call 811 if you cannot access the online self-assessment or wish to speak with a nurse about your symptoms.

When a new case of COVID-19 is confirmed, the person is directed to self-isolate at home, away from the public, for 14 days. Public health works to identify and test people who may have come in close contact with that person.

Anyone who has travelled from anywhere except Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador must self-isolate for 14 days. As always, anyone who develops symptoms of acute respiratory illness should limit their contact with others until they feel better.

It remains important for Nova Scotians to strictly adhere to the public health order and directives - practise good hand washing and other hygiene steps, maintain a physical distance when and where required. Wearing a non-medical mask is mandatory in most instances. Information is at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/masks/ .

Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information, handwashing posters and fact sheets at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus .

Businesses and other organizations can find information to help them safely reopen and operate at https://novascotia.ca/reopening-nova-scotia .

Quick Facts:
-- additional information on COVID-19 case data, testing and vaccines is available at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/data/
-- a state of emergency was declared under the Emergency Management Act on March 22, 2020 and extended to May 16, 2021
-- due to an increased number of investigations in recent days, the exposure category (i.e., travel, close contact or under investigation) is not available by release time. A breakdown by zone identifying exposure categories will no longer be provided regularly.

Additional Resources:
More information on what is considered essential travel is available here: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/travel/#from-outside-atlantic-canada

Government of Canada: https://canada.ca/coronavirus

Government of Canada information line 1-833-784-4397 (toll-free)

The Mental Health Provincial Crisis Line is available 24/7 to anyone experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis, or someone concerned about them, by calling 1-888-429-8167 (toll-free)

If you need help with a non-crisis mental health or addiction concern call Community Mental Health and Addictions at 1-855-922-1122 (toll-free) weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Kids Help Phone is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free)

For help or information about domestic violence 24/7, call 1-855-225-0220 (toll-free)

For more information about COVID-19 testing and online booking, visit https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/symptoms-and-testing/
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