People lined up along Main Street last week to wait their turn to be vaccinated against COVID-19 at the Hines PharmaChoice in Antigonish.

HALIFAX: There are now five active cases of COVID-19 in the Inverness, Victoria and Richmond County Community Health Network.

According to the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA), there remains one active case in the Antigonish and Guysborough Community Health Network. Those numbers can be found on the NSHA web site at: https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/204d6ed723244dfbb763ca3f913c5cad.https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/204d6ed723244dfbb763ca3f913c5cad.

This is in contrast to provincial numbers which have increased steadily over the past two weeks, according to statistics from the NSHA. The vast majority of those new cases are in the Central Zone which at press time had 470 active cases, according to the NSHA web site.

The province said it is continuing to monitor the Eastern Zone for community spread, as the Cape Breton Community Health Zone (which covers the Cape Breton Regional Municipality) had 41 active cases; a number which has increased over the past two weeks.

The Public Health Mobile Testing Unit is at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre today and will be there until Saturday.

Even with low local numbers, the NSHA issued potential COVID-19 exposure advisories for three locations in the Strait region.

Anyone who was at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre on April 18 between noon and 6 p.m. are asked to call 811 or visit: covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/ to book a COVID-19 test, regardless whether they have symptoms. The NSHA anticipates that anyone exposed to the virus may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 2.

The NSHA said those potentially exposed have been contacted by public health and told to isolate, noting the exposure to the public was low risk, so those present on that day and time are asked to get tested but do not have to isolate.

On April 23, the Port Hawkesbury Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton announced in a Facebook post that the Civic Centre was closed last weekend.

“Tomorrow the building will be deep cleaned over and above the daily/hourly COVID cleaning protocols,” the mayor noted. “This news definitely is unnerving. Many from our town and the Strait region will be impacted. Their work, their school and other activities that were part of their routine. I hope with my heart of hearts that we will not realize any community spread as a result of this possible exposure. It is important that we rally together!”

The Town of Port Hawkesbury posted on Facebook on April 24 that maintenance staff carried out a deep clean of the Civic Centre and the building remained closed until Monday.

“I don’t believe there’s a major concern about the event that happened in the Port Hawkesbury arena,” Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health for Nova Scotia told The Reporter during a media briefing on April 26.

The NSHA issued a potential COVID-19 exposure advisory for the Irving Big Stop in Auld’s Cove on April 18 from 6-7:30 p.m. They said anyone exposed to the virus at this location on that date may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 2.

There was also potential exposure at Mother Webb’s Steakhouse in Lower South River on April 22 from 3:30-5:10 p.m., the NSHA said, noting that anyone exposed to the virus at that location and on that date could develop symptoms up to, and including, May 6.

Whether or not people have COVID-19 symptoms, those present at those last two locations, on those dates and times are required to self-isolate while awaiting a test result, the NSHA explained.

“… Keep monitoring for symptoms and at any time if they start to experience symptoms get tested again,” NSHA spokesperson Brendan Elliot told The Reporter.