Starting today, July 31, masks are mandatory in indoor public spaces in Nova Scotia. Adjustable and reusable cloth masks are available for free, in adult and children’s sizes, at all public libraries and 24 provincial museums.

“Masks are an important part of the whole package of public health measures we need to minimize the impact of a second wave of COVID-19,” says Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, in a press release. “Most Nova Scotians can buy or make their own reusable masks and there are many local suppliers with economical options. Having masks available at our museums and libraries helps ensure everyone has access.”

Government is also giving small businesses masks to offer customers. Contact the Department of Business at nseconomy@novascotia.ca for more information. East Coast Living offers this simple guide to making your own mask (originally published April 2020).

Busker Fest is back (minus the crowds)
A rite of summer, the annual Halifax Busker Festival returns today with a roster full of the all-time fan-favourite performers. Topping the roster is Mike Johns, AKA Mighty Mike: a 1920s throwback who wows fans with feats of strength like juggling bowling balls and bending horseshoes.

But this year he won’t get to see those fans’ reactions. BuskerFest has moved entirely online, streaming recorded performances from July 31–Aug. 2. Busker shows usually have lots of audience participation, so it’s a big adjustment for the entertainers.

“Sometimes I can be on, sometimes I can be off, but when there’s no crowd, my main strength is gone,” Johns says. “We’re trying to ride the challenge and adapt ourselves as performers instead of just being street performers or festival performers … It’s been a lot of growth, but I definitely can’t wait to get back to live shows.” He tells Ameeta Vohra about it, and his journey from juggler at Pete’s Frootique to festival headliner, in this new Halifax Magazine story.

Details emerge about six-day hunt for stabbing suspect
A man accused of stabbing a police officer and dog in Bridgewater eluded searchers for six days. And now Lunenburg County business man William Gerhardt thinks Tobias Doucette was hiding in a camper on his industrial property and stealing food from a nearby farm. “It seems like he was there for a little while, really,” Gerhardt says“Hindsight is 20-20, but it was probably a very logical place for him to be.”

Police caught Doucette after people called 911 about a man repeatedly attempting to break open the business’s gate from the inside, ramming it with a pick-up truck. “We’re glad the gate was robust,” Gerhardt says. Gayle Wilson reports for LighthouseNow.

Reduced work week improves efficiency
In Guysborough, the municipality recently shifted to a four-day work week. So far, the experiment has been a success, bolstering both efficiency and morale, reports Councillor Vernon Pitts.

“We’re going to pull it off and it’s going to be successful,” he says. “I believe we’re the first municipal unit in the province, if not the whole country, to attempt this … We’re ending up actually getting about two hours extra productive work per day out of our public works department.” Drake Lowthers has the details in The Reporter.

Hot vehicle dangers
Police are (again) warning people to not leave kids unattended in vehicles, after finding four children alone in a hot car in the New Glasgow Wal-Mart parking lot.

“On a very warm, humid day, the temperature inside your vehicle becomes extremely hot, extremely fast,” says Cst. Ken Macdonald says in The Pictou Advocate. “It only takes 20 minutes for the interior of the vehicle to reach extreme temperatures, even on days that seem relatively mild.”

Need to know
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