Nova Scotia has 142 known active cases of COVID-19, with health officials reporting 10 new cases in the latest (Nov. 30). update.

Nova Scotia Health Authority labs completed 4,138 tests on Nov. 30. There were also 275 tests at a rapid-testing pop-up site in Halifax and 585 tests in Wolfville. No one tested positive at those sites.

Yesterday evening, a government added another new case to the tally, connected to St. Margaret’s Bay Elementary school. “The school will be closed Wednesday, Dec. 2, for deep cleaning,” says the press release. “Staff and students will receive notification from the school about reopening.”

Premier Stephen McNeil. Photo: CNS

More COVID testing
The government announced yesterday that two mobile testing units are now available for more targeted COVID-19 testing.

Public health teams trained in testing and investigation processes staff the mobile units, which will deploy around the province based on COVID’s epidemiology.

“Getting these mobile units up and running is another part of our enhanced testing strategy to help us detect cases as early as possible,” says Premier Stephen McNeil in a press release. “Our testing strategy is about tracking, tracing, and containing this virus.”

Elliot Page. Photo: Twitter

Halifax actor comes out as trans
The Nova Scotian actor who was nominated for an Academy award for Juno and has starred in and produced several other films came out as trans in a statement yesterday. “My pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot. I feel lucky to have arrived at this place in my life,” writes Elliot Page.

Trans advocates worldwide are cheering the news. “I’ve been endlessly inspired by so many in the trans community,” says Page. “I will offer whatever support I can.”

He adds that he’s braced for the backlash this announcement will also draw. “The discrimination towards trans people is rife, insidious, and cruel, resulting in horrific consequences,” he says. “I am one of those people and we won’t be silent in the face of your attacks.”

Edward (back right) and Barbara (centre front) Dunsworth in Nicaragua in April 2019.

Face to face with poverty
Halifax lawyer Edward Dunsworth was living a comfortable South End life when he met people working to help the impoverished in Central America. Their stories pricked his conscience, inspiring him to want to help.

Soon after, he got an invitation to join a group of Nova Scotians in Nicaragua for a Habitat for Humanity house-building project. “I was overwhelmed by what I saw,” he says. “My life played out like a video and the question I kept asking myself was why none of my previous good works had involved working with the poor.”

A permanent move to Nicaragua soon followed, with he and wife Barbara running a program that helps some of the country’s poorest children get quality educations. He tells Dorothy Grant about it in this new Halifax Magazine report.

Holiday decorating tips from Stil James
Pandemic health rules (and common sense) mean that most Nova Scotians won’t be doing a lot of socializing this December, so many are making extra efforts to make their homes into holiday havens. And Natalie Owens, the decorating guru behind Halifax boutique Stil James, wants to help.

“I really believe that home décor… can affect your mood,” Owens says. “I can always use a bit of a mood lift on the coldest, darkest days of winter, especially this year. Using things from my own childhood, things I saw at my grandparents’ house, brings me a lot of comfort.

She offers DIY décor advice aplenty in the new issue of East Coast Living.

Haileigh White

Pictou Co. teen saves lives
Seventeen-year-old teen Haileigh White was driving on the Trenton Connector when she saw a car crash. An Air Cadet trained in first-aid, she took a moment to process what she was seeing and then reflexively rushed to help. “I said, ‘I got this,'” she recalls.

She rescued two unconscious men and a pregnant woman from the wreckage. One of the men wasn’t breathing, so she performed CPR until help arrived, which paramedics say saved his life. White never learned their names and now wants to meet them, along with the other people who stopped to help. Jackie Jardine reports for The Pictou Advocate.

Drive-thru Bethlehem
As religious and community groups work on plans for pandemic-safe holiday celebrations, many are finding drive-thru events to be the solution. One such group is L’Arche Cape Breton, which will share the Nativity story in a sprawling outdoor production that people can safely view from their cars. Learn more in The Reporter.

Need to know
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Halifax Magazine