With Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 count at its highest level since the pandemic began, Premier Iain Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, are ordering a provincewide lockdown: closing most retailers, reducing gatherings to household bubbles, and closing schools.

“We are in a race between the variant and the vaccine,” Strang says. “There is substantive risk of community spread across the province. We need to slow that spread until we are closer to population immunity through our vaccination program.”

The restrictions are scheduled to continue until at least May 12.

Gatherings

  • People can only gather (indoors or outdoors) with the people they live with
  • Households of two or less people can socialize with one or two others but those people can’t socialize with anyone else
  • No unnecessary travel outside your municipality
  • All schools are closed
  • Day cares will remain open, with the focus on providing service to those providing essential services or have no other child-care option; essential workers who need help finding care may contact ECDSERVICES@Novascotia.ca or call 1-877-223-9555

Masking

  • Mandatory masking for staff, visitors, and kids over age two in indoor child-care settings
  • Mandatory masking outdoors where physical distancing isn’t certain, including playgrounds and parks
  • In indoor workplaces, masks are required in all common areas, places where there is interaction with the public, areas with poor ventilation, and areas where distancing isn’t possible

Retail and business

  • Stores are closed for in-person service, except liquor stores and retailers that “provide services essential to the life, health or personal safety of individuals and animals.” These stores can remain open at 25% capacity
  • Dining rooms are closed
  • Personal services such as hair salons, barber shops, and spas are closed
  • Regulated and unregulated health professions can remain open if they have government-approved COVID-19 plans
  • Casinos and gaming establishments must close

Events, recreation, arts, and culture

  • Weddings and funerals can have five people, plus officiants
  • No social events, special events, festivals, arts/cultural events, sports events, faith gatherings, wedding receptions, or funeral visitation or receptions
  • No meetings or training except mental health and addictions support groups, which can have 10 people with physical distancing and masks
  • Virtual gatherings and performances can be held with a maximum of five people in one location
  • All gyms, indoor recreation facilities, and arenas are closed
  • Licensed and unlicensed establishments cannot host activities such as darts, cards, pool and bowling
  • Outdoor recreation activities, including individual sports, are allowed if participants follow public health rules
  • Museums, libraries and galleries are closed, but libraries can offer pick-up and drop-off services

Long-term care/special care

  • No visitors or volunteers are allowed inside long-term care facilities, except for designated care providers
  • Adult day programs for seniors are cancelled
  • Licensed care homes can’t have visitors or community access
  • Adult day programs for persons with disabilities are closed, except for vaccine clinics

People who do not follow the public health measures can be fined. For example, the fine is now $2,000 for each person at an illegal gathering.

Photo: CNS

COVID count at record high
Nova Scotia has 489 known active cases of COVID-19, with 75 new cases reported in the latest government update. Eleven people are hospitalized with the disease, including three in ICU.

Nova Scotian labs did 9,962 tests on April 26.

As of April 26, health care workers have dispensed 283,591 doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the province, with 35,002 Nova Scotians getting the second dose that completes inoculation.

So far, COVID-19 has killed 67 Nova Scotians, and 24,065 people across Canada.

Rankin and Strang are scheduled to webcast an update today at 3 p.m.

Teen shares experience with bullies
Fifteen-year-old Oceanna Campbell has turned her encounters with bullies into something positive, recently sharing her story to win a 4-H public-speaking contest.

“I shared a lot about my experience … about Pink Shirt Day and how it doesn’t do much at school,” she says. “I was bullied a lot in Grade 7, to the point where we ended up going to court. The school did nothing about it.”

In a recent interview, she shares the lasting mental-health effects of being bullied, the inaction of school officials, and how public speaking helped her regain her confidence.

Raissa Tetanish reports for The Pictou Advocate.

The derelict Comorant.

Feds fail to quash lawsuit
The federal government has failed in its attempt to throw out a lawsuit by the owners of Bridgewater’s wharf.

Rick Welsford and the Port of Bridgewater are suing the Canadian Coast Guard and fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan, alleging that they unlawfully interfered in its south LaHave Street operations and didn’t have proper grounds to seize the former navy ship Cormorant. The allegations haven’t been tested in court.

Welsford claims the federal government blocked opportunities for the Port of Bridgewater to sell the Cormorant, which sat derelict at the wharf for almost 20 years, oozing pollution into the LaHave River.

Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

Accessible transit for Strait area
Strait Area Transit has added a new accessible van to its fleet. It promises to make the whole community more accessible to users and in the short term, it will be particularly useful in helping people get to vaccination appointments, says Amber Carrigan, the transit service’s executive director.

The Reporter has more.

Photo: Gerry Lunn

50 things you don’t know about Halifax
Odds are good you’ll be sticking close to home this summer, so it’s the perfect time to rediscover Halifax.

Pirates, pioneers, and murder most foul—the city has a lot of fascinating in its past that you probably didn’t learn in school. In 2013, Sarah Sawler took readers on a quirky historical tour through strange laws, curious adventures, a visit from Oscar Wilde, and “those Mic Mac Rotary blues.”

Learn more in Halifax Magazine‘s most-read story ever.

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

Halifax Magazine