Nova Scotia health officials are reporting an increase in COVID-19-related hospital admissions and a slight drop in deaths in the province’s weekly update.

The province reported seven more deaths due to COVID-19 Thursday — three fewer than the 10 reported last week.

Of the seven deaths, the province says all were people aged 70 or older.

The data released Thursday covers a seven-day period ending June 20.

Since the start of the Omicron wave, which began Dec. 8, 2021, Nova Scotia has reported 326 deaths related to COVID-19.

Since the start of the pandemic, the province has reported 438 COVID-19-related deaths.

The province says people aged 70 and older continue to be at highest risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19.

Since the start of the Omicron wave, the median age of hospitalizations is 71, while the median age of people who have died is 81.

According to health officials, the risk of hospitalization is nearly 11 times higher for people aged 70 and older, and the risk of death is about 115 times higher, compared to those under the age of 50.

HOSPITALIZATIONS

Health officials say 37 more people have been hospitalized with COVID-19 — an increase of nine from the 28 new hospitalizations reported last week.

Of those currently in hospital:

  • five are in ICU
  • 13 per cent are unvaccinated
  • The median age is 72

NEW CASES

Nova Scotia is reporting 1,420 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 — 530 fewer cases than the 1,950 new cases reported last week.

Dr. Shelley Deeks, Nova Scotia’s deputy chief medical officer of health, says it’s “encouraging” to see decreasing COVID-19 activity.

“We have learned a lot about this virus over the last two years. As the weather gets better, I encourage people to have gatherings outdoors where possible, continue to wash your hands, use cough and sneeze etiquette and, most importantly, if you’ re sick, stay home,” she said in a news release from the province.

VACCINES AND BOOSTERS

As of Thursday, 65.8 per cent of Nova Scotians aged 18 and older have received a booster dose and 74,159 people have received a second booster.

Second booster doses are available to residents of long-term and residential care facilities, adults 70 and over, and members of First Nations communities who are 55 and older.

According to the province, evidence shows immunity gained from vaccines wanes more quickly among those aged 70 and older, which is why a second booster dose is recommended for that age group.

The province says Nova Scotians who are not up to date on recommended vaccines are encouraged to receive all doses for which they are eligible.


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