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No new COVID-19 cases reported Tuesday, N.S. introduces more improvements in testing

Premier Stephen McNeil announced that Nova Scotia is introducing more improvements in COVID-19 testing after reporting no new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday. 



Stephen McNeil wearing a suit and tie


© THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan


“Testing is an important part of the public health measures,” said McNeil. “Our testing strategy has been working very well, but there are always improvements we can make. These changes will allow people to be tested easier and faster.”

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Read more: No new cases of COVID-19 reported in N.S. on Monday

According to McNeil, the IWK Health Centre will expand its primary assessment centre to double its capacity and increase the speed of testing for children. The expansion will be fully operational by the third week of October.

The IWK will also start using the gargle test on Wednesday to diagnose COVID-19 in children ages four to 18.

The province said the gargle test is a more comfortable test for children. Once it has piloted the process, the gargle test will soon be available for children at all primary assessment centres.

Read more: Hosts charged after RCMP disperse 3 Antigonish parties with more than 50 people

With online COVID-19 self-assessment now in place, online booking for testing appointments will also be established.

“It will dramatically reduce the wait time to book an appointment. The online process will take about 10 minutes, down from 24 to 48 hours,” the province stated.

The province announced other improvements, including:

Expanding most primary assessment centres around the province with larger locations, longer hours and more staff so that Nova Scotians can get tested faster.

Increasing lab capacity in Halifax to process 2,500 tests per day by mid-November.

Adding equipment in Sydney in early November to eventually process tests instead of sending them to Halifax.

“Testing is a key part of our overall COVID-19

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Suspicious logins reported after ransomware attack on US govt contractor

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Customers of Tyler Technologies, one of the biggest software providers for the US state and federal government, are reporting finding suspicious logins and previously unseen remote access tools (RATs) on their networks and servers.

The reports come days after Tyler Technologies admitted last week to suffering a ransomware attack.

The Texas-based company said that an intruder gained access to its internal network on the morning of Wednesday, September 23.

The intruder installed ransomware that locked access to some of the company’s internal documents.

Tyler initially played down the incident

Tyler played down the incident and said that only its internal corporate network and phone systems were impacted.

Its cloud infrastructure, where the company hosts its customer-facing applications, was not impacted, the company said in a statement published on its website and via emails sent to customers last week.

But over the weekend, the situation changed as Tyler made headway investigating the incident. The company changed its statement on Saturday.

“Because we have received reports of several suspicious logins to client systems, we believe precautionary password resets should be implemented,” the company said.

“If clients haven’t already done so, we strongly recommend that you reset passwords on your remote network access for Tyler staff and the credentials that Tyler personnel would use to access your applications, if applicable.” [emphasis Tyler’s]

Customers report remote access tools on their servers

At the same, some of Tyler’s customers also reported seeing new software installed on their systems.

“If you’re a Tyler customer check your servers for Bomgar that they installed,” wrote one of many users on Reddit over the weekend.

A similar report followed on Monday from cyber-security training outfit SANS.

“One of our readers, a Tyler Technologies’s customer, reported to us that he found this morning the Bomgar client (BeyondTrust) 

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