Nova Scotia has reported a total of 20 deaths in its first weekly update of 2023.
One of those deaths happened between Dec. 20 and Jan. 2. The remaining 19 deaths are from a previous, unspecified time period. The province said these previous deaths could be from any past reporting period, but most likely to be within the last weeks or months.
Since March 2020, Nova Scotia has recorded 694 COVID-19 deaths.
The province reported 1,553 new cases confirmed by PCR tests in the latest time period which covered two weeks — a daily average of 110 cases.
In a news release, the province said from Dec. 20 to Dec. 26, there were 687 PCR-confirmed cases — a daily average of 98 cases. From Dec. 27 to Jan. 3, there were 866 new PCR-confirmed cases — a daily average of 123.
Nova Scotia Health reported 246 people in hospital with COVID-19 on Thursday. This is an increase from the previous reporting period when there were 164 people in hospital with COVID-19.
Of those 246 people:
The IWK Health Centre reported fewer than five hospitalizations on Thursday.
Nova Scotia Health said there were 94 employees off work Thursday due to being diagnosed with COVID-19, were awaiting test results or being exposed to a member of their household who tested positive.
The IWK reported 56 employees off work due to COVID-19 or isolating because of COVID-19 on Thursday.
A new COVID-19 variant is spreading around the world, including in Canada.
XBB.1.5 — also known as the Kraken — is a subvariant of the Omicron variant.
Infectious disease expert Dr. Lisa Barrett says one of the main concerns with this variant is how quickly it's spreading. But it's not yet clear how sick people will get compared to other variants.