Nova Scotia announces 2 new deaths from COVID-19, first case of vaccine-induced blood clotting
Nova Scotia announced its first case of a blood clotting disease known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia on Wednesday, along with two new deaths linked to COVID-19.
The person with the blood clotting, also known as VITT, is a man in his forties who received his first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine in early May, according to a statement. He developed symptoms about two weeks after the vaccination, but received treatment and is recovering.
The province also announced two new deaths linked to COVID-19. Two men, both in their sixties, died in the central area.
Seventeen new cases were announced on Wednesday, as people walked to sunny patios and lined up to have their hair cut on the first day after the province’s month-long lockdown.
New information on third wave deaths
The province said as of Thursday, 11 of the 13 people who died in the third wave of the virus in Nova Scotia had not been vaccinated.
The other two were partially vaccinated, a spokesperson for the health ministry said on Wednesday.
“It is to be expected that in the future, hospitalizations and deaths are more likely to be breakthrough cases that have been vaccinated,” said Marla MacInnis.
However, since two doses of the vaccine are more effective than one, she said there should be fewer breakthrough cases as people are fully immunized.
Updated data on the breakthrough cases will be available on Thursday.
Upcoming Changes for Vaccinated Rotational Workers
In a briefing Wednesday, Premier Iain Rankin said Nova Scotia was working on a plan that would allow workers on rotation with two doses of the vaccine to enter the province without isolating themselves. Those who have received a dose may need to self-isolate for a week with regular testing.
Rankin said the deployment could take place within the next month and eventually will be extended to people who are not rotational workers.
As of Tuesday, 594,708 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in Nova Scotia, of which 43,776 were second doses.
About 56% of the province’s total population received at least one dose.
As for the return of the Atlantic bubble – which allowed residents of the four provinces to travel freely in the region – Rankin said it was unlikely since those provinces open up to visitors from outside the region at times. different.
“I don’t think you can call it a bubble,” he said.
Newfoundland and Labrador plans to open to fully vaccinated Canadians without quarantine on July 1.
New Brunswick plans to open its borders with Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and parts of Quebec on Monday, depending on vaccination targets achieved and its number of COVID cases. 19. On July 1, it plans to include Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada, if those travelers have received a dose of the vaccine.
Prince Edward Island plans to open its borders on June 27 to the other Atlantic provinces and the rest of Canada on August 8, with no quarantine required for fully vaccinated travelers.
Although Rankin has said he does not believe there is an “undue risk” for Atlantic Canadians to enter Nova Scotia – with June 30 as the target date – the premier said the government was watching what the other provinces are doing.
Province to provide information on AstraZeneca
On the vaccine front, given the announcement this week that Nova Scotians who have received a dose of AstraZeneca can choose either this vaccine or an mRNA option like Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna for their second dose, the province shares more information to help people make a decision.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr Robert Strang noted on Wednesday that AstraZeneca is not as effective as a second dose than mRNA options. He also said there have been reports of VITT in those given a second dose.
For those choosing Pfizer or Moderna, Strang said there is some evidence that mixing vaccines in the second dose may cause minor side effects like fatigue and pain around the injection site to increase slightly.
Invitations to set an earlier date for a second dose of the vaccine will be coming soon, Strang said. The first will be for people vaccinated from March 11 to 21.
Those whose first dose was AstraZeneca will receive emails early next week urging them to decide which vaccine they would like as the second dose.
Majority of new cases in central area
Nova Scotia Health Laboratories performed 4,254 COVID-19 tests on Tuesday.
Of the 17 new cases, 12 are in the central zone. Eight of these are close contacts of previously reported cases, two are travel-related and two are under investigation.
Three cases are in the eastern zone and are close contacts. One case is located in the northern zone and is linked to displacement.
One case is in the West Zone and is currently under investigation.
There were also 72 recoveries on Wednesday, bringing the active total to 311.
Phase 1 of The plan to reopen Nova Scotia started on Wednesday morning and is expected to last between two and four weeks.
People lined up outside First Choice Haircutters on Mumford Road in Halifax before the business opened on Wednesday morning.
Later that afternoon, people donned shorts under sunny skies as they stood outside a bar on Argyle Street, waiting for a spot on a patio.
Nearby, Rankin had lunch on the patio with his wife, Mary Chisholm, at the Durty Nelly Irish pub.
Lara Cusson, owner of Lara Cafe on Agricola Street in Halifax, said people were out in “droves” on Wednesday.
“People felt safe and confident spending time on a patio,” Cusson said. “All small businesses make an effort to keep their businesses safe beyond what is required. I think the public really appreciates that.”
Greg Bishop was looking for a place to eat Wednesday afternoon on Argyle Street. He said he tried to get out of lockdown most days, but it was “nice to have the choice of places to eat again.”
Jess Noonan said she felt safe on the Halifax Terraces.
“I’m half vaccinated and most people are [half vaccinated] now around drinking age, ”she said. “I think it’s a good way to start the summer. I’m really excited about this. “
Halifax Mayor Mike Savage was also spotted in a beer garden by the water.
Strang said earlier this week that he expects the first phase to last more than two weeks, thanks to the rapid improvement in the third wave outbreak that began in late April.
Unlike some other provinces, Nova Scotia’s plan to reopen does not have target dates for moving forward between stages. Rather, it depends on the epidemiology of the virus, vaccination rates and the capacity of health care.
The number of people hospitalized has been falling steadily for more than a week. As of Wednesday, there were 38 people hospitalized, including 15 in intensive care.
Wednesday also marked the first day back to school for many students and teachers after more than a month of virtual learning. By Thursday, all schools are expected to reopen.
Phase 1 of the reopening plan allows restaurant terraces to reopen, cohesive groups of 10 to gather outside and retailers to reopen at reduced capacity, among other changes.
One of the criteria for moving to phase 2 of the reopening plan is to have 60% of the population with at least one dose of vaccine.
Atlantic Canada Case Numbers
- New Brunswick reported 12 new cases on Wednesday. The province has 142 active cases.
- Newfoundland and Labrador reported 17 new cases Wednesday for 90 active cases. There is a person hospitalized with COVID-19.
- Prince Edward Island reported no new cases on Wednesday and has four active cases.