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COVID-19 update: One death, 99 people in hospital, 15 in the ICU

COVID-19 emergency order extended to ban demonstrators from blocking highways, roads and municipal streets

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caption A sign informs passersby of a rapid testing site at the Halifax Central Library. This rapid testing site is for those 16 and older, who are asymptomatic.
Hannah Bing

Nova Scotia reported one death due to COVID-19 on Friday. 

“Nova Scotia is a small and tight-knit province, and these losses touch us all,” Premier Tim Houston said in a news release. 

A man in his 70s in the Central Zone died. 

The province also said on Friday that it will ease restrictions on sports practices and arts rehearsals starting Feb. 7. On Monday, practices and rehearsals can include 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors. 

“Easing restrictions will be possible because of our province’s high vaccination rate and the hard work of Nova Scotians,” Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, said in the release with today’s numbers. 

The province reported 11 new hospital admissions due to COVID-19 and six discharges. There are 99 people in hospital, with 15 people in intensive care. There are seven people in hospital who were admitted prior to the Omicron wave. 

The ages of those in hospital range from two to 95. The average age is 66. Those in hospital due to COVID-19 are staying for an average of 7.9 days. 

There are 126 people in hospitals who were admitted for another reason but tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival or were admitted for COVID-19 but no longer require specialized care. As well, 139 people contracted COVID-19 after arriving at the hospital. 

Of those in hospital, 29.3 per cent are unvaccinated. Less than 10 per cent of Nova Scotia’s population is unvaccinated. 

There are two new outbreaks at long-term care facilities: six staff members have tested positive at Nakile Home for Special Care in Glenwood; three staff members have tested positive at Mountain Lea Lodge in Bridgetown.

The province reported 594 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Monday after the Nova Scotia Health Authority completed 3,204 tests. This brings active cases in the province to 3,769.

Emergency directive

Late Friday, the province announced it had issued an emergency directive forbidding protesters from “blockading or disrupting traffic on any road, street or highway in Nova Scotia.”

The ban comes as organizers of the “Freedom Convoy” of trucks that has occupied downtown Ottawa streets for a week say they are staying put until COVID-19 restrictions across the country are eliminated. Residents of downtown Ottawa say they have endured day after day of blaring horns and harassment from the demonstrators and more police are being brought in as officials try to figure out how to end the occupation. Another trucker blockade has snarled border traffic at a crossing to the U.S. in Alberta.

The Nova Scotia directive would levy fines of up to $10,000 for individual violators and up to $100,000 for a corporation, a provincial release said. The release does not mention the Ottawa protests but late last month Premier Tim Houston said he would not tolerate a border blockade here and a similar directive was issued prohibiting protesters from blocking Highway 104 at the New Brunswick border or gathering alongside the highway to support the Freedom Convoy.

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Lane Harrison

Lane Harrison is a fourth-year multimedia journalist from Toronto, Ontario. He works as the editor-in-chief of the Dalhousie Gazette, Dalhousie's...

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