Nova Scotia has 29 known active cases of COVID-19, with three new cases (in the Central Zone) reported in the latest government update. Five people are hospitalized with the disease, including two in ICU.

“I’m pleased to see our efforts to contain the virus continue to work and our case numbers are remaining low,” Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, says in a press release. “We need to continue to be cautious and keep each other safe.”

Nova Scotia Health Authority labs did 6,551 tests on March 3, and 233,511 since the second wave of the pandemic began in October.

As of March 3, health-care workers have dispensed 37,590 doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the province, with 14,219 Nova Scotians getting the second jab that completes their inoculation.

Premier Rankin. Photo: CNS

Government relaxes public health restrictions
After a week of single-digit increases in known COVID-19 cases, the Rankin government is easing public health restrictions for HRM and neighbouring communities.

Many restrictions that came into effect on Feb. 27, such as restaurant hours, sport competitions, culture performances, and non-essential travel, ended today at 8 a.m., according to the government announcement.

“Last week we were worried about increased case numbers in Halifax but what we are seeing this week warrants lifting some restrictions early,” Premier Iain Rankin says in a press release. “I know that restrictions can have a significant impact on businesses but safety is always the first priority, and I want to thank Nova Scotians for following public health advice as that has allowed us to ease them earlier.”

  • Government is no longer discouraging travel in and out of HRM and surrounding municipalities.
  • Participants and officials in performing arts and sports (recreational, amateur, and professional) can gather in groups of up to 60 people without social distancing for rehearsals, performances, practices, and regular competition.
  • Spectators at performing arts and sports will be allowed, with gathering limits and distancing.
  • Public school gyms will reopen for after-school use on March 6.
  • Restaurants and bars can offer dine-in service until 10 p.m. and must close by 11 p.m.
  • Weddings and funerals in houses of worship or funeral home can have 150 people outdoors or 50% of capacity to a maximum of 100 indoors. Receptions and visitations are still forbidden.

Unchanged is the requirement for residents of long-term care facilities to only have visits from their two designated caregivers, and to only leave the facility for medical appointments or for a drive with a designated caregiver. This restriction remains in effect until March 27 in HRM and surrounding communities.

Rankin and Strang are scheduled to webcast an update today.

Blayre Turnbull of Stellarton is set to represent Canada at the Women’s World Hockey Championship. Photo: Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada

Women’s World Hockey Championship slated for May
Already twice postponed due to COVID-19, the Women’s World Hockey Championship is now slated for May 6 to 16. Halifax and Truro hope to host teams from Canada, the U.S., Finland, Russia, Switzerland, Japan, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, and Hungary.

“We know how important this event is in the women’s ice hockey calendar, especially considering that we could not have a tournament last season and now with the Olympics on the horizon,” says René Fasel, president of the International Ice Hockey Federation.

Raissa Tetanish reports for Halifax Magazine.

StFX students charged for flouting health rules
RCMP have charged six students from St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish with breaking the law that aims to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

On Feb. 12, police arrived at a house party with 25 people. “Members asked all persons on the lease to present themselves outside the front door,” says Cpl. Mark Skinner. “All six people [were] issued tickets under the Health Protect Act. The party was dispersed.”

Drake Lowthers has details for The Pictou Advocate.

Photo: HubNow file

Summer exhibitions and fairs cancelled
The Exhibitions Association of Nova Scotia is cancelling its traditional fairs and exhibitions for 2021, citing the pandemic and public health precautions.

“Across Nova Scotia, event organizers are making hard decisions for 2021 to ensure the safety of our volunteers, employees, sponsors, exhibitors, and public,” says association president Sarah Amirault. “Our collective decision does not preclude exhibitions and fairs from hosting smaller events that meet all public health requirements.”

Raissa Tetanish has the story for The Light.

Bridgewater police seek information on stabbing
A 22-year-old Bridgewater man, found bleeding from several cuts, won’t tell police how he was hurt or who was involved in the March 2 incident.

“He would not, and did not cooperate in the investigation by any means,” says Bridgewater deputy police chief Danny MacPhee. “We’re really struggling to piece together a story with an uncooperative victim.”

A worker found the man outside the Old Bridge Street bank around 4:30 p.m. Police believe the man was hurt between 3:30 and 4:20 p.m. If you know anything, they’d like to hear from you.

Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

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