The National Microbiology Lab has confirmed the presence of the Alpha (36 known cases) and Delta (20 known cases) COVID-19 variants in Nova Scotia, according to the latest government update. The cases were previously reported.

“We are still matching these results with individual case data, so I don’t have any more detail,” says Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. “But I can say the Delta variant is in our province … and we know that two doses of vaccine are needed for good protection against this variant strain.”

As of July 14, 73.3% of Nova Scotians have had at least one dose of vaccine, and 44.2% are fully inoculated. Countrywide, 69.1% of Canadians have had one shot, and 46.0% have had both.

Nova Scotia has 28 known active cases of COVID-19, with no new cases and three recoveries reported yesterday. Two people are hospitalized in provincial COVID units, including one in ICU.

Tim and Diane Ledvina

Huge gift to South Shore hospital
The Queens General Hospital Foundation in Liverpool has received a bequest of $4.8 million from former patients Tim and Diane Ledvina. The American couple had a retirement home in the area and both received care at the hospital before Diane died in 2012 and Tim passed in 2014.

“He could see how important the hospital was to the local community,” says Tim’s brother Tom. “That’s what motivated the gift … He wanted to preserve that access to good, quality, local health care.”

The donation was made upon Tim’s death, but because the estate spanned international lines, the process of getting the money took several years.

Kevin McBain has more for LighthouseNow.

Veterinarian gives up licence
In August 2020, Port Hawkesbury vet Sietse Van Zwol was supposed to give an eight-year-old husky a sedative to relax him for an exam.

Instead, he euthanized him, apparently mixing him up with another dog.

Last week, the Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association resolved the complaint against him, by ensuring he leaves the profession.

“Not suspended—he’s retired, so he no longer has a licence to practice,” says association registrar Frank Richardson. “He has agreed that as of July 9, he would cease practice, forfeit his licence, and not entertain getting a licence in any other jurisdiction.”

Jake Boudrot has the story for The Reporter.

Photo: Gino Santa Maria/Bigstock

Dangerous steps
For most people, one of the most common causes of injury is simply walking. (After all, when was the last time you tripped while sitting in a chair?)

“One misstep can permanently affect you for life,” says safety expert James Golemiec. “The only real workplace injury I ever had was a few years ago. A contractor tripped and fell into me, throwing me into the edge of a metal structure, injuring my knee. That incident required months of physiotherapy, and I sometimes still feel an ache on damp days. Some things are beyond your control, even when you work safely.”

Learn more, and get common-sense tips to help you stay safe, in his new Halifax Magazine post.

Optimism for 2022 cruise season
Cruise ships were hotbeds of infection in the early days of the pandemic and the industry’s environmental record continues to raise concerns, but the industry remains a powerful economic force..

Pictou, for example, has hosted 24 cruise ships since 2012. Municipal officials say cruise visitors spend about $80 each while in port, so they’re keen to see the industry resume, and hopeful that when it does, smaller ports will be more popular.

“People will feel safe,” says Michelle Young, chair of the town’s cruise committee. “Out of this, we may see some growth.”

Steve Goodwin reports for The Pictou Advocate.

Need to know
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