Nova Scotia past Omicron peak but restrictions to continue for two weeks
The province reports three more deaths; 91 in hospital Wednesday
January 26, 2022, 5:46 pm ASTLast Updated: January 26, 2022, 5:46 pm
Nova Scotia has passed the peak of its Omicron wave but restrictions will remain in place until Feb. 14 to ensure the province continues its downward trend, Premier Tim Houston and Nova Scotia chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang said at Wednesday’s COVID-19 briefing.
Despite being past the peak of infections, the province is still in the peak of hospitalizations, Strang said.
“We’re not out of this wave yet,” Strang said during the briefing.
“The virus continues to have some significant impacts on the more vulnerable Nova Scotians. And the impacts on the health system continue to be very significant. That’s why we’re extending current restrictions for two weeks until Feb. 14.”
Restrictions on certain cultural sectors may be loosened beforehand, Houston said. The gathering limits on performing arts rehearsals or virtual performances and sports team practices may be lifted by Feb. 7, Houston said.
By Feb. 14, games and recitals will be able to resume, possibly still with no fans. But Houston said the Feb. 7 change is only a goal for the time being.
“There is a path forward. And it’s important that we focus on that path,” Houston said.
The province reported three deaths due to COVID-19 on Wednesday. A man and woman in their 80s died in the Central Zone and a man in his 90s died in the Eastern Zone.
Nova Scotia has reported 29 deaths in the past 15 days, the highest number over a 15-day period since the outbreak at Northwood Halifax during the first wave.
The Nova Scotia Health Authority reported 346 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, which raises the estimated number of active cases in the province to 4,353.
As of Wednesday, 91 Nova Scotians are hospitalized due to COVID-19, and of that number, three were hospitalized before the current wave. The province reported 16 people were admitted to hospital and five were discharged, and the average hospital stay is 7.3 days.
There are 15 people in intensive care. The average age of those hospitalized is 67, and the age range of those in hospital with COVID-19 is 6 to 100 years old. According to the news release, 17 per cent of those hospitalized are unvaccinated. Of those in ICU, 26.7 per cent are unvaccinated, Houston said.
Of the 31 deaths due to COVID-19 during Nova Scotia’s Omicron wave, 30 per cent of those who died were not vaccinated, Strang said. Just seven per cent of Nova Scotia’s total population is unvaccinated.
There are also 100 people who arrived at a hospital for other reasons and tested positive, and 121 people who contracted COVID-19 after being admitted to a hospital.
There are two children in hospital with COVID-19 but they are being treated for other reasons, Houston said.
Mass vaccination clinics will close across the province as the government shifts towards increasing vaccinations among specific communities with low vaccine uptake, Houston said. According to a news release, these clinics will close by the end of next week.
By the end of the month, 400,000 people in Nova Scotia will have received a booster shot, according to the release.
If the downward trend of cases continues, Houston said, the next briefing will be held in two weeks, instead of next Wednesday.
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