Coronavirus update 15, April 17, 2020 | State of Emergency extended, CERB, economic outlook, more

Today marks the end of week five of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Dr Strang said today that while things are trending in the right direction, in part due to early interventions and closures, Nova Scotians will not yet seeing a loosening of restrictions, though we may see that in a week or two. We need more time to make sure we have planked the curve.

While we are looking at some sunny and cool weather this weekend, please, please stay home!

Nova Scotia has recorded its fourth COVID-19 related death. Today a woman in her 80s in Cape Breton died of complications related to COVID-19. After a worrying spike a few days ago in new cases the numbers have gone back down to “around” 30 new cases a day.

Yesterday the number of active cases (cases that are still sick and not recovered) had dropped for the first time since this started, so we are going in the right direction.

The province renewed the state of emergency under the authority of the Emergency Management Act for the protection of the health and safety of Nova Scotian, extending it to noon Sunday, May 3, unless government terminates or extends it.

I get asked several times a day about opening or modifying the park closure. Parks have been closed by order of the province, so that is not possible until the province relaxes the rules under the State of Emergency.  I suspect that will not occur for several weeks, as Dr Strang said.

Are you at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19? Check out this factsheet to learn who is most vulnerable and get tips on how to be prepared and how to reduce your risk of COVID-19.

I tweeted this video yesterday that I think sums up how close we are to the knife edge of winning, or losing, the battle to save lives from COVID-19, and this is why we need a couple more weeks of hard choices before we can start to reopen.

Federally CERB eligibility has been expanded. Individuals who earn up to $1,000, are seasonal workers who have exhausted their regular EI benefits, and anyone else who has exhausted their regular EI benefits and cannot find work because of COVID-19, are now eligible for the benefit. More here.

The Coast is now sending out a weekly newsletter! The owners write “Even though our last newsprint edition came out March 19, The Coast is still actively covering Halifax and this stupid virus online at thecoast.ca. We’re proud of the content we are producing and don’t want you to miss out on our stories. So from now on we will be sending a weekly summary newsletter every Thursday. It’s called The Float—because let’s face it, we are all just trying to keep our heads above water—and we hope you like it. ” Subscribe here

Sea Halifax – David Yetman from Century 21 All Points has taken his 360 camera gear and captured nice views on sunny days on the Seaport Market, Halifax Boardwalk, and Argyle Street. His thinking is that people might want to virtually visit some of the places that we all miss, and enjoy a different view than the one out your windows!

Finally, interesting analysis are starting to come on what the economy will look like during and then after this crisis.  Conference Board of Canada preliminary forecasts came out this week.  They write – “Nova Scotia faces a deep recession, due mainly to the coronavirus pandemic that is simultaneously grinding domestic economic activity to a halt and reducing demand for the province’s export-intensive industries. We expect real GDP in the province to contract by 3.6 per cent in 2020, which is a stark revision from the 1.2 per cent growth anticipated at the start of the year before the pandemic hit.

The economic recovery, which we expect to begin in the second half of 2020, will lay the foundation for a 5.9 per cent expansion in provincial output next year. Pent-up consumer demand will be a key feature of the rebound, as will the start of the $10-billion Goldboro LNG project.” More here