Coronavirus Update 23, May 6 2020 | What reopening might look like,a innovation district, a message from Canada’s mayors, parks update, more

This update was posted in the afternoon of May 6, 2020. The situation is changing by the hour. Please check the CanadaNova Scotia and Halifax websites for the most up to date information.

You can also check out my COVID-19 resources, with information on current Government ResponseIndividuals & FamiliesBusiness as well as Links to Resources including key social media to follow.


Another sunny day in Halifax and the trends continue downwards with new and active COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. We are not out of the woods yet but things are looking up.

I know people want life to go back to normal as fast as possible, we all do! We are all now focused on “reopening the province.”  We were lucky to have COVID-19 come here later than most of the rest of Canada, and I expect our reopening will come a little later too. This will be hard for us as we see our neighbouring provinces starting to enjoy the good life.

While the province has not yet announced details of the Nova Scotia reopening plan, looking around the country and give us some insight into what happens net.  One of the first things that need to happen is that elementary schools and/or summer camps need to reopen.  

KQED wrote ‘But there are still many more unknowns than guarantees. Among the biggest, says Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union, is this: “Is it safe and healthy for my kids to pack them into that classroom?”  Much more detail  on what opening schools might look like here: https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/55790/what-it-might-look-like-to-safely-reopen-schools

British Columbia is farther along the COVID-19 timeline line, and this article outlines where they are at: ‘The key, when lifting restrictions, is to make sure one has a robust system for testing, tracing contacts and, in particular, isolating infected people and their contacts.
https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/opening-the-bc-economy-can-it-be-done-and-how/

CBC reported about Saskatchewan’s plan – that ‘As part of his announcement this week about restoring the Saskatchewan economy and loosening restrictions on the public, Premier Scott Moe described the plan as a way to “gradually, cautiously and methodically reopen businesses.”‘ ‘Most businesses are losing money every day and are eager to open their doors. People want to enjoy what they’ve taken for granted in the past such as a haircut, a sit-down restaurant meal or sending their children back to school or daycare. So many people would like to have life return to normal, but in the absence of a vaccine, effective treatment or rapid testing, the reopening of a province may prove to be much more difficult than shutting down.’https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/provinces-reopen-saskatchewan-pei-1.5544152

I look forward to hearing details of what the province has planned for a slow, careful, and phased relaxation of the public health orders in the next short while.

What’s Open in the Halifax Innovation District
There are over 130+ restaurants, bars, food shops, and markets open in Halifax’s Innovation District. We’ve created a map of what’s open for take-out and delivery so you can continue to #supportlocal in our District: Map here

Latest update on parks reopening:

The Halifax Regional Municipality continues to monitor and respond to the rapidly evolving effects of COVID-19.

The municipality is in the process of reopening all parks, trails, greenspaces, community gardens and cemeteries. With over 900 parks and 425 km of trails in the municipality, this process will take time. Staff are working quickly to remove all barricades, locks and gates from parks to adjust to these changes. We ask residents for their patience during the reopening period.

All beaches, sports courts and playgrounds remain closed until further notice.

The Province has permitted sports fields to open for residents in the same household to use. Due to physical distancing requirements, no bookings will be taken until further notice.

Provincial public health measures must be followed on all municipal properties. Residents are reminded that police are still authorized to issue tickets for violations under the Emergency Management Act and Health Protection Act. Parks are open for walking and exercise only. Organized sports and gatherings in violation of public health restrictions are not permitted.

The following is a clarification on the details of parks and greenspaces reopening:

School Grounds
The municipality manages and maintains all sports fields, courts and playgrounds on school properties. With the exception of sports fields for personal use, these facilities remain closed until further notice and no bookings will be permitted.

Bookings
In order to adhere to provincial public health measures, no bookings of sports fields, ball diamonds and artificial turf fields will be permitted until further notice.

Park Assets that are open:

  • Parks
  • Greenspaces
  • Trails
  • Municipal cemeteries
  • Skate parks
  • Off leash dog parks, (Note: Shubie Park beach remains closed)
  • Boat launches in parks (Note: All boat launches connected to beaches or recreation facilities will remain closed)
  • Community gardens

Park Assets that remain closed:

  • Sport courts (basketball, pickle ball, tennis, etc.)
  • Artificial turf fields
  • Ball diamonds and sports fields – while the provincial statement indicated that these are permitted to open, the municipality’s standard process is to open these in late May/early June, weather dependent.  The municipality will provide additional updates closer to the typical opening dates.
  • Sports/running tracks located adjacent to sports fields/artificial turf fields
  • Beaches located in parks (Note: As per provincial direction, the parks are open but the beach areas are closed)
  • Playgrounds

For more information on municipal services during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit Halifax.ca/coronavirus.