Nova Scotia reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, marking the first day without a single reported infection since health officials identified the province’s initial cases in mid-March.
Friday’s report continued a trend in recent weeks of a dwindling number of cases in the province.
It kept the total number of confirmed cases at 1,055, including 978 people who have recovered from the virus. Eight people are currently in hospital and three of them are in intensive care.
Health officials said there was one licensed long-term care home in Nova Scotia with active cases of COVID-19. The Northwood facility in Halifax currently has 10 residents and four staff with active cases.
The province has registered 40,914 negative test results to date and there has been a total of 59 deaths, with 52 occurring at Northwood.
Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, the province’s chief medical officer of health, were expected to provide an update Friday on further steps to reopen the economy.
On Wednesday, McNeil announced that most businesses that were required to close under a public health order in late March would be allowed to open next Friday, provided they are ready with a plan that follows public health protocols for physical distancing.
The list of businesses includes bars and restaurant dining rooms, hair salons, barber shops, gyms and yoga studios, among others.
Some health providers would also be allowed to reopen, including dentistry, optometry, chiropractic and physiotherapy offices. Veterinary services can also operate along with some unregulated professions, such as massage therapy, podiatry and naturopathy.
Meanwhile, the provincial government announced Friday it would add 23 new long-term care beds because of a need resulting from some facilities slowing or stopping admissions during the pandemic.
It said it is entering into an agreement with Shannex RLC Ltd., to convert a floor at the Caritas Residence, a private assisted-living home in Bedford, N.S., into nursing home beds.
Residents would be able to move into the facility in early June and will be tested for the virus before being admitted.
According to the government, there are 132-long term care facilities in Nova Scotia.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 29, 2020.