As of yesterday, Sept. 2, Nova Scotia has six active cases of COVID-19. Government didn’t identify any new cases in the latest update. So far, the province has had 76,935 negative test results, 1,085 known cases, and 65 deaths.
School starts Sept. 8
Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, and education minister Zach Churchill held a press conference yesterday to reassure parents about the province’s back-to-school plans. Classes are scheduled to begin on Sept. 8.
If things go as planned, parents will be doing much of the work to keep COVID-19 out of classrooms. “Families should monitor the health of their children daily and keep them home if they feel ill,” Strang says. “There is no one-size-fits-all approach to addressing a COVID-19 exposure, but we are ready to respond quickly if or when it happens in a school.”
He emphasizes that he expects some students, teachers, and/or school staff will get COVID-19, and government has plans to react as necessary, even close schools entirely in the case of a major outbreak. Raissa Tetanish reports for Hub Now.
Teachers say schools aren’t ready
The education minister is full of optimism about the coming school year. “I want to welcome our new and returning students and staff back to school, in what will be a year to remember,” Churchill says in a press release. “Although your day will look different, we are committed to providing the experiences, opportunities, and moments that make school special.”
But the teachers who will be in the classrooms daily say the government’s plan is rushed and unsafe. “Ventilation systems have yet to be inspected or fixed, windows still don’t open, safe drinking water is not available, proper hand-washing stations with soap and running water have not been installed, and hallways are filled with old furniture,” says Nova Scotia Teachers Union president Paul Wozney in a press release.
Yesterday afternoon, he sent a letter to Churchill, asking that government delay the start of the school, reallocating professional-development time to allow teachers and staff to “sort out the turmoil they’ve been presented with by the government.”
Put me in coach
Sixteen-year-old Bridgewater baseball prospect Brandon Wentzell is taking a big swing in his quest for the big leagues, as he heads to Alberta to attend the Badlands Baseball Academy. “They want you to be the best you can be,” he says. “And they’ll turn you into the best player they can.”
A Grade 11 student and aspiring catcher/outfielder, Wentzell faces a daily regimen of athletics, with an eye on moving up to American college play and eventually a professional career. “That’s every ball player’s dream,” he says. “But I can only do my best and hopefully good things go my way.” Keith Corcoran has his story in LighthouseNow.
Spotlighting the Shubenacadie Residential School’s legacy
The federal government recently announced plans to turn the notorious Shubenacadie Indian Residential School into a National Historic Site.
The residential school system “was imposed on Indigenous peoples as part of a deliberate effort to… destroy their cultures and identities,” explains the government press release. “Many Indigenous children were forcibly removed from their homes and communities to attend residential schools. While there, children often faced substandard conditions, harsh discipline, neglect, abuse, and the deliberate suppression of their languages and cultures.”
And the effects of that government and church-sanctioned abuse continue to this day. In this January 2019 Halifax Magazine essay, Irene Bernadette Eisenhower tells Chris Benjamin about how her experiences with the abusive nuns in Shubenacadie still shape her life. “There are times I want to give up my job, go back to drinking,” she says. “But if I give up, those Sisters will win. They said we were no good, we’d never be anybody. I know I’m somebody.”
Maritime Hockey League season delayed
The MHL aims to begin play on Oct. 30, instead of Oct. 2 as originally scheduled. The postponement is to give the league time to figure out a way to host fans without breaking public-health laws. “The return of fans is critical to the success and continued health of the Maritime Hockey League and its fans,” says president Steve Dykeman. The Pictou Advocate has the details.
Need to know
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The Roundup team is taking a few days off. Look for our next edition on Sept. 9.