Nova Scotia has 24 known active cases of COVID-19, with three new cases (one each in the Northern, Central, and Eastern zones) reported in the latest government update.

Nova Scotian labs completed 2,572 tests on March 29 and 298,895 since the second wave of the pandemic began in October.

As of March 29, health-care workers have dispensed 94,373 doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the province, with 25,102 people getting the second dose that completes their inoculation. According to the latest federal government statistics, Nova Scotia has the lowest vaccination rate in the country, with 4.17% of the population having gotten at least one dose. The national vaccination rate is 9.18%.

Source: Government of Canada

Vaccination bookings going quickly
Despite the low rate of vaccinations, demand for the shot is high in the province, with appointments going as quickly as they’re offered.

At the Medicine Shoppe in Port Hawkesbury, all 500 available slots until mid-April were booked within 48 hours. “To put that in perspective, we normally average 150 doses per week during flu-shot season,” says a social-media post from the pharmacy.

Jake Boudrot has the story for The Reporter.

Invading Nova Scotia’s waters
If you’re an angler, an increase in pickerel and bass populations may sound like good news, but it’s a disaster for Nova Scotia.

The fish are foreign invaders, deliberately introduced for the convenience of anglers. Today they’re overwhelming trout and other Nova Scotian species. Dalhousie researcher Paul Bentzen says our freshwater ecosystems possess only a fraction of their former abundance and biodiversity.

“No one in the field doubts that we’ve suffered a major loss,” he says. “Into our simpler ecosystems we’ve introduced two top predators, which are running rampant.”

He tells Zack Metcalfe about it in this Halifax Magazine column, originally published May 2019.

Fred Prins

A place for PTSD recovery
Gary Phillips knows the toll PTSD takes on first responders. And he knows that good honest labour can be part of the healing journey. So he created a woodworking retreat in Malagash, where people experiencing PTSD can be among those who understand.

Many people have chipped in to bring Rough Cuts Canada to life, including local toymaker and retired Hercules pilot Fred Prins, who donates his creations for sale in the gift shop.

“I really agree with … what he’s offering here,” Prins says. “With what I’ve seen in military life and civilian life, this is my way to pay it forward.”

Raissa Tetanish reports for The Light.

Jordan says Mersey River cleanup begins with municipality
Federal fisheries minister and area MP Bernadette Jordan has promised a group of Liverpool Grade 7 students that the Trudeau government will do something about pollution in the Mersey River, if the municipality takes the lead. The students have been testing the fecal bacteria levels in the river monthly, consistently discovering dangerously high levels.

“This is very expensive to clean up,” Jordan says. “That’s not an excuse, because we have to do it, but we have to make sure we are working together to do it. We will reach out to the municipality and we’ll tell them that we had this meeting to see if there is anything that they want to do.”

Kevin McBain has the story for LighthouseNow.

Need to know
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Halifax Magazine