Nova Scotia is reporting no new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday.
Four known active COVID-19 cases remain in the province with one person hospitalized in intensive care, the Department of Health and Wellness said in its daily update.
Nova Scotia Health Authority's labs completed 401 tests on Tuesday. To date, Nova Scotia has 102,273 negative test results, 1,092 positive COVID-19 cases and 65 deaths.
Numbers in the Atlantic bubble
Eight new cases were announced in New Brunswick on Wednesday, bringing the province's active case tally to 90.
Most of the cases are related to two outbreaks in the Moncton and Campbellton areas.
Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, said in a briefing Wednesday that he's discussed the situation in New Brunswick with the province's public health officials.
"Our colleagues tell us the cases are in known facility, family, or social group clusters. They have not identified community spread at this time," said Strang.
Watch a replay of the news briefing
Since New Brunswick has not seen cases where the source of infection is not known, Strang said the risk of getting COVID-19 from travelling to or through the affected areas remains low.
“As a result, we’re not planning any changes to our border protocols or restrict travel between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia,” he said.
Nova Scotia Public Health will continue watching the situation in New Brunswick closely. Anyone who travelled to these regions should monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and complete an online self-assessment or call 811 if necessary.
Strang added that people should continue following public health protocols, such as wearing masks, adhering to gathering limits, and hand hygiene.
No new cases were reported in Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador on Wednesday. The number of active cases in the two provinces are three and eight, respectively.
With Halloween approaching, Dr. Strang said he’s concerned about adults getting together for Halloween parties more than trick or treating.
“Parties can happen, but they have to happen under strict requirements of limiting numbers, … adherence to physical distancing, non-medical masks and all other public health protocols.”
Before attending or hosting any event, people should assess their health status and that of their family. Anyone feeling unwell shouldn’t participate in parties or trick or treating.
“I’m strongly encouraging that anyone who’s going to celebrate Halloween that they do it with their family and close friends within a group of no more than 10,” said Strang.
House parties have a gathering limit of ten people. If it’s a community event, the maximum number of people who can gather is 50, both indoors and outdoors. Physical distancing should be maintained between people from different groups of ten.
Strang also emphasized that Halloween masks do not replace the need for non-medical masks.
Trick or treating will also look different this year. The group limit of ten also applies to children going door-to-door. It’s also encouraged that people go trick or treating outdoors, although it might not be possible if they lived in apartments.
“If people are doing trick or treating indoors, I would encourage them, especially kids to wear non-medical masks,” said Strang.
Kids are recommended to tap on the door with the back of their hand, rather than ring the doorbell or use the doorknob. Strang said the virus is more likely to be on the palm of the hand, so using the knuckles reduces the risk of COVID-19 spread.
“When you get home, it’s important that the first thing you do is have your kids wash your hands,” said Strang.
Using a hand-sanitizer through out trick or treating is also important, but there’s no need to disinfect the candy.
Strang said it’s more important than ever for people to make it clear that they’re not participating in trick or treating.
“Turn off the lights. Don’t have anything on your front porch,” he said. “Even if you put up a sign.”
People giving out treats should be healthy. Strang said a designated person should give out the treats. They could sit outside on their porch if the weather is nice.
“Either you have individual packages that are laid out on a table somewhere or have a bowl with tongs,” said Strang. “Do it in ways that minimize multiple hands touching things.”
The person giving out treats should wear a non-medical mask.
Anyone who is currently experiencing or has experienced within the last 48 hours one of the following symptoms should visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca for a self-assessment:
- new or worsening cough
- fever (i.e. chills or sweats)
People should also visit the website if they are experiencing two or more of the following symptoms (new or worsening):
- sore throat
- runny nose or nasal congestion
- shortness of breath
People can also call 811 if they can't access the website or if they wish to speak to a nurse. Anyone experiencing symptoms should self-isolate until they receive advice from Public Health on what to do next.