Nova Scotia has 36 known active cases of COVID-19, with six new cases (five in the Central Zone, one in the Eastern) reported in the latest government update.

Health officials have also identified four previously-known (and now resolved) cases in the Central Zone as the U.K. variant. “At this time, there is no sign of community spread from the variant cases,” says the press release.

There have been 22 known cases of the U.K. variant in the province, and 10 cases of the South African variant.

Nova Scotian labs completed 975 tests on April 5 and 316,822 tests since October.

As of April 5, the province has doled out 116,436 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, with 29,677 Nova Scotians getting the second shot that completes inoculation.

Dr. Robert Strang. Photo: CNS

Government eases restrictions, opens N.L. border
Premier Iain Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, announced yesterday that they’re opening the Newfoundland and Labrador border and easing COVID-19 restrictions.

“While we continue to carefully watch the case numbers in our region, we are currently in a good position to open our borders to all our Atlantic neighbours,” Rankin says in the press release.

With this change, all residents of Atlantic Canada can come to Nova Scotia without having to self-isolate upon arrival or complete the check-in form.

“We are fortunate to be in a position to take these cautious steps, thanks in large part to Nova Scotians continuing to follow our public health measures,” Strang says.

They also announced that malls, retailers, and gyms can again operate at 100% capacity (with physical distancing).

Sports practices, training and games, and arts and culture rehearsals and performances can include up to 75 people. While physical distancing and masks are not required for these activities, they are recommended when possible. Spectators continue to be allowed at these events except when they are in schools.

Susanne Chui

Mocean Dance returns
Mocean Dance welcomes fans back this week with its new live production Petites Danses at Alderney Landing in Dartmouth on Apr. 9 and 10. With the latest work from acclaimed choreographer Marie-Josée Chartier, Mocean aims to encourage and inspire, explains Susanne Chui, Mocean Dance’s co-artistic director.

“The women of the show have been holding up their own families in the community,” Chui says. “It’s pertinent to have this group of leaders on stage, having the courage and bravery to work through the whole year, to work and come together, come on stage and to reflect that to the audience … To have the strong women on stage together, working through the challenges of the piece, it will inevitably be a metaphor for the challenges of the year and life.”

Ameeta Vohra reports for Halifax Magazine.

Fishing community mourns
Two people are dead after the New Brunswick fishing boat Tyhawk – Elsipogtog capsized and sank near Cheticamp.

Captain Craig Sock is missing and presumed dead after a 25-hour search. Crewman Seth Monahan was among the four fishermen rescued from the water, but he died shortly after.

“[We] send our prayers and deepest sympathies to the families of the two crew members who perished in the accident, and to the families of the crew members who are recovering,” the Elsipogtog First Nation Band Council says in a Facebook post.

Jake Boudrot has more for The Reporter.

Rachel Homan is expected to be among the competitors at the Curling Olympic Pre-trials. Photo: Twitter

Liverpool to host Olympic curling trials
Curling teams from across Canada are scheduled to compete at the Curling Olympic Pre-trials in Liverpool from Oct. 26 to 31.

That event will winnow the field down to the two men’s and two women’s teams that will compete at the 2021 Tim Hortons Curling Trials in Saskatoon in November, which in turn will decide Canada’s teams for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

“We are looking forward to welcoming another major curling event to Liverpool, and we’ll be hard at work over the next several months to make it an outstanding event that will send all players and guests home with incredible memories,” says Greg Thorbourne, chair of the host society.

See Kevin McBain’s story in LighthouseNow.

Multiple charges for New Glasgow drivers
Drivers in the New Glasgow area face a slew of charges after a recent enforcement blitz by local police and transportation department officials. Among the 150 vehicles stopped, police found five that didn’t have valid inspections, two with illegal window tinting, and one that wasn’t registered at all.

The Pictou Advocate has details.

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Halifax Magazine