The Nova Scotia government reported 121 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, for a total of 1,655 known active cases in the province. But due to public health’s backlog in reporting test results, it’s unclear if that number provides an accurate snapshot of the current state of the pandemic.

“We have been making steady progress addressing the case backlog,” Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, says in the latest update. “And we’re close to being caught up. Many of the backlog cases were reported in our numbers over the last few days and some may continue to show up for a day or two. By midweek I expect the backlog will be cleared and we will be back to our usual process.”

There are 58 people in Nova Scotia hospitals with the disease, including nine in ICU. As of May 9, health-care workers have dispensed 366,089 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, with 37,699 Nova Scotians getting the second dose that completes inoculation.

COVID-19 has killed 71 people in Nova Scotia, and 24,682 across Canada.

Dr. Robert Strang. Photo: CNS

Tighter border controls
Nova Scotia’s new pandemic-fighting border restrictions began yesterday: only permanent residents of Nova Scotia and people travelling for essential reasons can enter the province.

“These measures … are creating some hardships,” Strang concedes in yesterday’s briefing. “We did not intend for anyone to find themselves without a place to live, so we will now use our compassionate exceptions process to consider cases that have extraordinary circumstances.”

People can apply for exceptions under these circumstances:

  • They have a purchase or sale agreement for a property showing that an offer was accepted on or before April 21 and the closing date is on or before May 20,
  • They signed a minimum one-year lease on or before April 21 and beginning on or before May 20
  • They have a letter of acceptance (dated on or before May 7) for a new job in Nova Scotia that they can’t do virtually or defer.

Hiking the Atlantic coast
In 2016, Nova Scotian Emily Taylor-Smith began at the Canada-U.S. border in St. Stephen, N.B., and started walking east then north along the New Brunswick coastline, reaching the Quebec border 60 days later and continuing her hike through Gaspé.

She documented her journey in a new book called No Thanks, I Want to Walk from Pottersfield press.

“I had to say that to so many people,” she recalls. “People kept stopping their cars and saying ‘Hey, where are you going? Do you want a lift?’ I kept saying ‘No thanks, I want to walk.’ That’s why I chose that title.”

Sari Green has more for the Saint Croix Courier.

Pictou development in final stage
Pictou’s new Harbour Crossing housing project is in its final stage, which will see the development of an 8.1-hectare plot, seven years after developers Joyce and Bruce Winmill bought the land.

“The third phase is the development of our remaining lots and we have approximately 25 lots for sale,” says Joyce Winmill. “They are all serviced lots. Our intent is to build a number of duplexes … We’re looking at single-family homes and open lots for sale.”

Raissa Tetanish reports for the Pictou Advocate.

Bayer’s Lake Mystery Walls

The Mystery Walls of Bayers Lake
For many years, researchers and archeologists have pondered the stone outline of a five-sided stone structure and 120-metre-long wall in the woods near the Chain of Lakes Trail.

“Many fanciful theories have emerged over the years to explain the centuries-old mystery,” writes Dorothy Grant in her latest local history post. “Some say the work dates back to early First Nations inhabitants, others imagine early Vikings.”

Jonathan Fowler, an associate professor in the anthropology department at Saint Mary’s University, extensively researched the site in 2017. “I don’t think we’ve got a conclusive answer, or set of answers just yet,” he says in a report summarizing his work. But he does have a new theory.

Grant has the details for Halifax Magazine.

Isle Madame man faces trial
Jospeh Valma Samson of Arichat (Richmond County) is scheduled to appear in Port Hawkesbury Provincial Court next month to answer a charge of sexual assault involving a minor. The charge stems from an incident that police say happened last August. Samson pled not guilty in December.

Jake Boudrot has more for The Reporter.

Need to know
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Halifax Magazine