Nova Scotia has had its first COVID-19 death of 2021, the provincial government announced yesterday. The victim was a woman over the age of 80 in the Central Zone. So far, the pandemic has killed 66 Nova Scotians in total.

“My thoughts are with this woman’s family during this difficult time,” Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, says in a press release. “COVID-19 is still in our province and it continues to be very important for all Nova Scotians to be following the public health measures and advice.”

Dr. Robert Strang. Photo: CNS

Nova Scotia has 17 known active cases of COVID-19, with three new cases (all in the Central Zone). One person is hospitalized with the disease.

Nova Scotian labs completed 2,900 tests on March 17, and 272,911 since the second wave of the pandemic began in October.

As of March 17, health-care workers in the province have doled out 55,176 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, with 18,983 Nova Scotians getting the second shot that completes their inoculation.

The government also announced yesterday that it’s expanding eligibility for the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“Clinics in Halifax Regional Municipality are fully booked, but about 4,900 appointments are available in remaining clinics across the province,” says the press release. “Starting today, March 18, people aged 60 to 62 are eligible to book appointments in clinics that are not full.”

St. Patrick’s Day fire leads to charges
A Lunenburg County man faces obstruction and weapons charges after a St. Patrick’s Day apartment fire in Bridgewater.

Police were assisting firefighters responding to a small fire that triggered the buildings sprinklers, when a man tried to block their entry to an apartment. Inside, they discovered an illegally stored and unlicensed shotgun and ammunition.

Investigators say the fire was suspicious. “Police are continuing the investigation and are currently looking for a second suspect,” says a statement from the Bridgewater Police Service. “Additional charges may be forthcoming.”

Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

Yiwen Sun and husband Robert Black

Immigrating to Halifax mid-pandemic
When Yiwen Sun made plans to immigrate to Halifax, she thought it would be relatively simple. But midway through the process, the pandemic hit. Her paperwork was jammed in the bureaucratic machinery for months. And when she was finally able to settle here, she hit another obstacle, familiar to many newcomers.

“I had a lack of confidence with the job market, and I didn’t know what to do,” she says. “I was an accountant back in China, and I have an accountant’s certification, but I could not find a good job that could maximize the benefits of my education.”

Then, she discovered the Immigration Services Association of Nova Scotia. In this new Halifax Magazine feature, she tells Ameeta Vohra how the organization changed her life, and how she’s now helping others build new lives in Halifax.

Nova Scotia school offers unique Gaelic course
The high school in Antigonish is offering a Gaelic literature course, the first of its type in the world. Emma Smith is the first person to complete the self-taught course, which is part of the International Baccalaureate program.

Smith explains that Gaelic culture has always been a big part of her life, but the course dramatically elevated her use of the language. “I went from reading Gaelic children’s books in Grade 10 to reading Shakespeare and very high level poems in Grade 12,” she says.

Jake Boudrot has the story for The Reporter.

Celebrating spring
The new issue of our sister publication East Coast Living is a celebration of spring in Atlantic Canada. In the cover story, Dartmouth cake designer Meaghan Adamski shares her easy tips to make your next dessert into a decadent and artistic celebration. Read more.

Need to know
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Halifax Magazine