Return restrictions as COVID-19 cases rise in NS, Omicron variant confirmed

Halifax –

Nova Scotia reported 114 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, the highest daily case count since the third wave, along with dozens of confirmed cases of the Omicron variant.

There are 55 cases in the Central Region, 52 cases in the East Region, five cases in the West Region, and two cases in the Northern Region.

Six people are hospitalized with the virus, including two in the ICU. There have been no hospitalizations in the Eastern District.

In a COVID-19 update on Monday, Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston warned that the new variant spreads quickly and the incubation period appears to be shorter. He said the majority of new cases are in young people, and so far no one from the St. FX is hospitalized.

Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer Dr Robert Strang said the National Microbiology Laboratory has confirmed 40 cases of Omicron in the province and these cases have been reported previously.


The province also reported an outbreak of COVID-19 in Parkland Antigonish, a community where seniors live. Two residents and two staff members from the retirement home have tested positive for the virus, and an employee from Mary Court, a licensed long-term care unit, has also tested positive.

Dr Strang said no one linked to that outbreak is in hospital.


The province reports that as of Monday, 1,681,621 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to Nova Scotians.

Of those, 790,778 Nova Scotians received the second dose and 46,537 eligible Nova Scotians received the third dose.


The province announced on Monday that effective Tuesday there will be enhanced public health measures at schools through the holiday season next week.

This includes:

  • School sports are limited to team skills training
  • no conference and no holiday concert
  • do not mix classes, including pausing activities like Reading Buddies
  • Guest needed only in school
  • Masks are required indoors and outdoors where physical distancing cannot be maintained
  • Restrict access to the restaurant

The province also announced that starting at 9 a.m. on Friday, December 17, some restrictions will return until at least the new year when it will be reassessed.

Physical distancing and masking requirements:

  • Two meters (six feet) of physical distancing indoors and outdoors is required, except for people in the same household or a consistent social group of up to 20 people – places like fitness and recreational facilities. Locations, retail businesses, malls, museums, libraries and personal services such as hair salons can operate at maximum capacity possible with physical balance.
  • Food and beverage establishments and establishments with alcohol business licenses must have a maximum distance between tables of 20 people/table.
  • Everyone must sit to remove the mask when eating or drinking; all other mask requirements for indoor public places remain in place, including wearing them while seated for other activities
  • Masks are required in workplace areas where physical distancing cannot be achieved, as well as in common areas, areas with public servants, and areas with poor ventilation.
  • It is the responsibility of all individuals, businesses and organizations to ensure that mask requirements are followed and all are subject to enforcement action.

Collection limit:

  • Informal gatherings indoors and outdoors, usually at home, limited to 20 people from the same household or a consistent social group; physical distancing and proof of complete immunization are not required; No mask required except in indoor public places
  • The 50% gathering capacity limit for up to 150 people indoors and 250 people outdoors applies to social gatherings, regular religious services, weddings, funerals, and receptions and visits Their related visits, special events, meetings, trainings, festivals and spectators for sports events and cultural and artistic events (such as performances and cinemas) organized by a recognized businesses or organizations, including religious organizations
  • The indoor and outdoor 60 participant limit applies to regular sports, games and tournaments; tournaments are not allowed; Physical distancing is optional and a mask should be worn when indoors and outdoors
  • The indoor and outdoor 60 participant limit applies to professional and amateur cultural and artistic rehearsals and performances; contests are not allowed; professionals must have a plan for their workplace; Physical distancing is optional and a mask should be worn when indoors and outdoors
  • Children 11 and under continue to be restricted from entering Nova Scotia to participate in sporting and arts and cultural events and from participating in such events outside of Nova Scotia
  • Specific organizational plans will be considered for major venues such as the Scotiabank Centre, the Halifax Exhibition Center and the Halifax Convention Center.

Long-term care:

  • Limit two visits at a time to long-term carers; It is not necessary to have the same two visitors every time
  • Visitors are advised to do a quick check-up within 24 hours of their visit
  • Visitors can make quick close contact like a hug but then need to keep physical distance for the rest of the visit
  • The requirement for visitors to wear a mask and be fully vaccinated, except for end-of-life visits, remains
  • Residents can only leave the facility for an overnight visit if they are fully vaccinated and they are also advised to get a booster dose.

The province said there has been no change to the requirement to prove fully vaccinated for discretionary activities.


Canada’s COVID-19 Alerts App is available in Nova Scotia.

This app, which can be downloaded through the Apple App Store or Google Play, notifies users if they may have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.


Anyone with a new or worsening fever or cough, or two or more of the following new or worsening symptoms, is encouraged to take the test online or call 811 to determine if they need a COVID test -19 or not:

  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Short of breath
  • Runny / stuffy nose

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