Nova Scotia has extended the state of emergency as the province announces 20 new cases of COVID-19.
A state of emergency was declared for the first time under the Emergency Management Act on March 22. It remains in effect until noon Sunday.
The provincial government said the cabinet met by teleconference on Thursday and agreed to ask the lieutenant governor to extend the state of emergency for another two weeks.
The ordinance takes effect at noon Sunday and will continue until noon on April 19.
The request comes as Nova Scotia announces 20 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases to 193.
The province says 900 tests were done Wednesday at the microbiology laboratory at the QEII Health Sciences Center.
Nova Scotia Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang says 91% of the cases are related to travel or a known case. One case is the result of community transmission and some cases are still under investigation.
“We are seeing more and more cases that it is likely to be community transmission and this should be confirmed in the coming days,” Strang said at a press conference on Thursday.
” It is not a surprise. This is exactly how COVID-19 works. We receive it from trips, it begins to penetrate communities. This is the time when all public measures must really be put down to minimize the spread to communities in Nova Scotia. “
Confirmed cases range from less than 10 years to over 80 years of age.
Fifty-one percent of the cases are women and 49 percent of the cases are men.
Five people are currently hospitalized.
Sixteen people have now recovered from the virus and their cases are considered resolved.
Cases have been identified in all regions of the province, and a map with more information is now available online.
The cases are distributed by areas of the Nova Scotia Health Authority. The map shows where the tests were done, not necessarily where the individuals live.
West zone: 32 cases
Central area: 118 cases
North zone: 22 cases
East zone: 21 cases
“I don’t want people to focus on whether this community or this community has cases,” said Strang.
“We need to understand that there is potential in every community in the province and we need all Nova Scotians, no matter where they live, to take the necessary protective measures.”
Public health is working to identify and test those who may have been in close contact with the confirmed cases.
This includes those who were at the Eagles Funeral Home in Westville, Nova Scotia, or the Alma Fire Station in Alma, Nova Scotia, on March 15.
“There was one person who attended this event who was not symptomatic but who then fell ill and tested positive,” said Strang.
Anyone who was there on March 15 and developed symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing after this date, should call 811.
Anyone with COVID-19 must isolate themselves at home, away from the public, for 14 days.
Anyone who has traveled outside of Nova Scotia must also be isolated for 14 days.
Nova Scotians who develop symptoms such as fever, new cough, or acute respiratory illness should limit contact with others and use the online assessment tool to determine if they should call 811.
The province says anyone referred to a COVID-19 assessment site by 811 will be tested.
To date, Nova Scotia has 7,446 negative test results and 193 confirmed cases.