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NS COVID-19: 24 new deaths announced on Thursday

Health officials in Nova Scotia report spike in new deaths in province’s weekly COVID-19 update.

The province on Thursday announced 24 deaths from COVID-19 – six more than those reported last week.

The data released on Thursday covers a seven-day period ending May 16.

“My thoughts are with the 24 families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, in a press release Thursday.

“Getting vaccinated, wearing a mask, staying home when we’re sick – these are small tokens of respect for these families and for the many others whose lives have been and are still being affected by this virus.”

The province says the risk of death for people aged 70 and older is almost 114 times that of younger people.

Of the 24 deaths announced this week, 22 people – or 91.7 percent – were 70 years of age or older and nine people – or 37.5 percent – were living in long-term care facilities.

Since the onset of the Omicron wave, which began December 8, 2021, Nova Scotia has reported 266 COVID-19-related deaths with a median age of 81 years.

Since the pandemic began, the province has reported 378 deaths related to COVID-19.

HOSPITALIZATIONS

Health officials say 59 more people have been hospitalized with COVID-19 – a drop of six from last week’s numbers.

Of those currently in the hospital:

  • eight are in intensive care
  • 16 percent are unvaccinated

The province says the risk of hospitalization is about 11 times higher for people aged 70 and older compared to younger people.

Since the beginning of the fifth wave, the median age of hospital admissions has been 71 years.

NEW CASES

Nova Scotia is reporting 2,513 new laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 — 605 fewer cases than reported last week.

Since the beginning of the fifth wave, the average age of PCR-confirmed cases is 43 years.

VACCINES AND BOOSTERS

As of Thursday, 65.5 percent of Nova Scotians age 18 and older have received a booster shot and 52,725 people have received a fourth dose of vaccine.

Second booster doses are available to residents of long-term and nursing facilities, adults age 70 and older who live in the community, and members of First Nations communities age 55 and older in Nova Scotia.

According to the province, evidence shows that vaccine-gained immunity wears off more quickly in people aged 70 and over – which is why a second booster shot is recommended for this age group.

According to the province, getting at least one booster shot reduces the risk of hospitalization by 85 percent and the risk of death by more than 92 percent compared to people who are unvaccinated or only receive one dose.

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