Health officials announced eight new cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia yesterday, raising the total of known active cases in the province to 30.

According to the government update, three of the cases are in Northern Zone and are close contacts of previously reported cases.

Premier Stephen McNeil. Photo: CNS

Two of the cases are in Eastern Zone and are related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada. One of the cases is a student at Cape Breton University in Sydney, the other is a student at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish—both live off campus.

Three of the cases are in Central Zone, related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada. One of the cases is a student at Saint Mary’s University who lives on campus.

“We are seeing the importance of self-isolation and asymptomatic testing,” Premier Stephen McNeil says in a press release. “We will keep our case numbers low and protect each other if we all continue following the public health measures.”

Easing mask discomfort
Mask-wearing is an important part of the public-health effort to fight the COVID pandemic. But some wearers find that doing their duty is leading to skin irritation, discomfort, and acne (AKA “maskne”).

“I have a zit” is a pretty weak excuse for going maskless, so holistic health practitioner Lorraine Crowe shares advice on how to protect your skin while following the public health rules. See more in Hub Now.

The Alexander, one of the new apartment buildings dotting downtown Halifax.

Housing crisis postponed?
Today, rental-market website Padmapper will release figures that show rents have decreased in Halifax over the last couple months.

“The monthly decline of over 5% in one-bedrooms is significant,” says Padmapper data analyst Crystal Chen, who gave Halifax Magazine an early peek at the numbers. “It seems to go hand in hand with [the] inkling that the Halifax market has softened a bit.”

But vacancy rates remain low. Once the pandemic passes, there will be renewed immigration, the return of international students, and growing demand for condo-style apartments, restarting the housing crunch. And affordable housing remains scarce.

“That’s a whole different issue that needs to be addressed,” says Kevin Russell, executive director of the Investment Property Owners Association of Nova Scotia. “People living on fixed incomes whose income hasn’t come kept up with inflation are falling further behind.” Janet Whitman reports in this new Halifax Magazine feature.

Brenda Chisholm-Beaton

Port Hawkesbury looks at housing situation
Communities around Nova Scotia are also facing housing issues. In Port Hawkesbury, municipal officials are doing a survey to determine the town’s housing needs.

“We can share their information with developers,” says Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton. “This will give developers important information [about]… people who are actively seeking housing. [This] will take some of the risk out of investing in multi-until housing.” Jake Boudrot has more for The Reporter.

Unique B.C. business comes to South Shore
A British Columbian businessman is bringing his unique operation to the East Berlin, in Queens County. Ron Kendrick is founder of Catalyst Development Inc. in Burnaby, B.C., which offers consulting services in beverages—formulation and technical services, such as quality assurance, supply chain management, and operational consulting.

“Anything from working with an idea for a beverage to what the warehouse floor should look like,” explains Kendrick. “There’s a trend in retail goods right now with companies and people looking for personalization, and we would like to be the first in North America to completely get into beverage creation and production for both individuals and companies.” See Kevin McBain’s story for Lighthouse Now.

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