With government reporting 182 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, Nova Scotia’s known active cases total is now at 1,309, another all-time high.

That number is likely an inaccurate picture, though, as the effects of the testing backlog continue, with it taking up to a week for people to learn the results of their tests.

“There was a backlog at the Nova Scotia Health Authority lab and in public health’s case data entry,” says the government press release. “The backlog at the lab has been resolved. The lab is now processing tests within 48 to 72 hours. Public health also continues to work through the backlog in data entry … and contacting new cases.” Government says that backlog will be cleared “in the coming days,” but isn’t providing a specific timeline.

“Regardless of the numbers, COVID-19 is here and it’s widespread in the Halifax area,” says Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. “The restrictions in place are critical and we all need to follow them if we’re going to get this outbreak under control.”

Strang and Premier Iain Rankin are scheduled to webcast an update today at 1 p.m.

Dr. Lisa Barrett

Knowledge is power
Despite the current confusion, Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 emphasis on testing has been largely effective—even during this third (and worst) wave, the province’s infection rates remain among the country’s lowest.

Dr. Lisa Barrett is one of the architects of the testing strategy and she praises the way the province has embraced it.

“I’ve always wanted to bring more testing, more access to things to people in the community, make them less medicalized, more social, and a part of what people will do,” she explains. “When we started to see an uptick in the number of cases in November, we finally just said, ‘OK, we can do this; let’s go down to one of the local bars, which was closed at the time, see if we can bring this out to people and have them do it for themselves.’ It’s by the people for the people, and that’s where the concept started and has taken off. Nova Scotians have really grasped it.”

She tells Ameeta Vohra more in this new Halifax Magazine interview.

Memorial food drive draws big support
After Michelle MacNeil Worthen’s son Nick died, she organized a food drive (supporting Pictou County food banks) in his memory. With the third wave of the pandemic raging, she was unsure what to expect, but is thrilled with the outcome.

“We filled the truck,” she says, adding that the drive also drew $5,700 in donations, many coming electronically from people who wanted to show support but were unable to travel. “It’s almost like the whole world timed it. People were just giving, giving, giving.”

Raissa Tetanish reports for The Pictou Advocate.

Ernie Hadley

Ernie Hadley’s literary legacy
The Nova Scotia literary community lost one of its pillars last month, with the sudden death of Nevermore Press publisher and co-founder Ernie Hadley last month.

“It’s a big loss,” says Andi Bulman, sales and marketing manager with the Lunenburg company. “It was quite shocking … He was patient and kind, sort of inspiring … He was in it to get those authors out into the world. It wasn’t a money-making venture for Ernie.”

Gayle Wilson has more for LighthouseNow.

Books for young readers
With more time at home, your wee bibliophiles have likely exhausted your home library. If you’re looking to add more children’s books to your stockpile, Our Children magazine’s book reviews can steer you to a variety of picks.

Discover graphic novels, parents’ picks, and much more in the parenting magazine’s online archives.

Need to know
Know a community group, good cause, or inspiring local story we should share? Email the editor.

Halifax Magazine