Coronavirus Update 38 – the second wave hits our shores

This update was posted in the afternoon of November 24, 2020. The situation is rapidly changing. Please check the CanadaNova Scotia and Halifax websites for the most up to date information.

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


Coronavirus Update 38 – the second wave hits our shores.

Hi all,

As you are probably aware that today the government of Nova Scotia announced new measures to help control the spread of Coronavirus.

I have included both the provincial and Halifax press releases below but in short:

New rules announced for Halifax- the following are closed for at least 2 weeks.

  • Restaurants, bars (delivery still allowed)
  • Gyms, yoga, etc
  • Casinos
  • Museums, Libraries

Everyone at a gathering over 5 will be fined $1000 not just the host. Thank you Dr. Strang & Premier for responding to D7 resident’s concerns!

I encourage residents to call police non-emergency 902.490.5020 to report public health order violations.

I support everything I am hearing from Dr Strang and the Premier McNeil around these new restrictions.  Based on other provinces’ slow response, this is more than I expected and is actually pretty much everything I hoped for.

You many remember me repeatedly talking over the last 8 months about the Hammer and the Dance.  We are now dancing like lives depend on it.

Steps like this are what we need to stop this second wave.

Before I get to the details I have two things to say.

Don’t look for loopholes. 

Like any other minimum standard, what the government announced today is the least you should do. Do more, if you can.

So this means – don’t go to the house in Chester, or the cottage, or your mum’s place in the country, if you are lucky enough to have those things. Don’t drive to the valley for the day to eat and do some shopping. Don’t skirt the gathering limits. If we all really really stay away from each other we will see the numbers move in the right direction in 10-14 days.

But we all need to do our part. No one is special, no one is exempt.

That said, do what you have to do. Go to the doctors, go to school, go to work, but wash your hands, wear a mask, maintain physical distance, and install the app on your phone.https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/covid-alert.html

And finally, as Dr Strang said today “Turn your fear and anxiety around and say ‘what am I gonna do to bring a sense of control for myself and a sense of control for my community’?”

We have a lot of people in need in our community. Businesses desperate for an order for delivery, charities who need cash to help those in need, international and even Canadian students who are going to be stuck here for the holidays, seniors and others who are cut off from their families.

What can you do to ease another’s burden? I urge you to think about what help you can offer, as you are able, to help support others in our community.

Together we will get through this.

I had a lot of other non-covid stuff to put in a newsletter but I’m going to hold that until later this week, as much of it is likely to change as events cancel.

Be kind, be patient, and take care of each other.

COVID APP ISSUE

If you use an Android phone, the covidalert app has an important update that you might have to manually install from the Google app store. This is very important because it looks like, despite the little green thumbs-up, the app hasn’t been checking for exposures on many Android systems. The update is supposed to address this. Go into Google Play, click on installed apps, and check to make sure you have the latest version.

Nova Scotia – New Restrictions to Reduce Spread of COVID-19

To turn the tide of COVID-19 infections in Nova Scotia, Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, announced new restrictions in Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) and across the province today, Nov. 24.

“We need to flip the switch on COVID-19 right now,” said Premier McNeil. “COVID-19 is moving quickly in Halifax, and we need to stop it from spreading further into Nova Scotia. We must bring COVID-19 under control before our health system is overwhelmed and it infects our most vulnerable citizens. Stopping the spread is fully up to us.”

New restrictions will come into force at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 26, and continue for two weeks until midnight Dec. 9, with a possibility of extension.

Nova Scotians are being asked to avoid non-essential travel:

  • in and out of western and central HRM (which is defined as HRM from Hubbards to, and including, Porters Lake and the communities up to Elmsdale and Mount Uniacke in Hants County – see https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/ for boundaries).
  • to other Atlantic provinces

The following will apply to the parts of western and central HRM:

  • the gathering limit in public is five (or up to the number of members of an immediate family in a household)
  • mandatory masking now applies to common areas of multi-unit residential buildings, such as apartment buildings and condos
  • restaurants and licenced establishments are closed for in-person dining but may provide take-out or delivery
  • retail stores must restrict shoppers and staff to 25 per cent or less of allowable capacity
  • wineries, distilleries and breweries cannot hold tastings or in-person dining and must follow retail rules in their stores (delivery and curbside pickup allowed)
  • organized sports, recreational, athletic, arts and cultural activities, faith-based activities are paused
  • profit and non-profit fitness and recreational facilities closed
  • libraries and museums are closed, including the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
  • the casino and First Nations gaming establishments are closed
  • stronger enforcement of illegal gatherings, including ticketing of all attendees (total fine of $1,000)

Schools, after-school programs and childcare will remain open while certain personal services businesses such as hairstylists, estheticians and nail salons in western and central HRM can continue except procedures that cannot be done while a patron is masked.

The following new restrictions apply across the province:

  • to protect our most vulnerable, there will be no visitors except volunteers and designated caregivers to long-term care facilities and Adult Residential Centres and Regional Rehabilitation Centres licensed by the Department of Community Services
  • sports teams are restricted to local or regional play only
  • no extracurricular activities between schools

To further protect our most vulnerable, staff, volunteers and designated caregivers at long-term facilities in HRM will undergo voluntary, bi-weekly testing. Testing will be phased-in starting Nov. 27.

“COVID-19 loves social and group activities because it can spread quickly and easily,” said Dr. Strang. “These measures are targeted to reduce the situations in which COVID-19 thrives. Go to work or go to school, then go home and stay there. One family member can shop for necessities. It will likely get worse before it gets better so don’t falter in following public health measures.”

Quick Facts:
visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/ to do a self-assessment if in the past 48 hours you have had or you are currently experiencing fever or a new cough or you are experiencing two or more of sore throat, runny nose/nasal congestion, headache and shortness of breath testing numbers are updated daily at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus

The Mental Health Provincial Crisis Line is available 24/7 to anyone experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis, or someone concerned about them, by calling 1-888-429-8167 (toll-free)

Kids Help Phone is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free)

For help or information about domestic violence 24/7, call 1-855-225-0220 (toll-free)

For more information about COVID-19 testing and online booking, visit https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/symptoms-and-testing/

The COVID-19 self-assessment is at https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/

Halifax – Response to COVID-19: Update to facility bookings and recreation programming

The Halifax Regional Municipality continues to monitor and respond to the rapidly evolving effects of COVID-19. The following is an update on municipal services.

As directed by the province, new public health guidelines will take effect in the Halifax Regional Municipality inside the boundaries of Hubbards, Mount Uniacke, Elmsdale and Porters Lake.

HRCE school bookings

The municipality coordinates facility bookings for all Halifax Regional Centre for Education (HRCE) schools for community and extracurricular school use. Following the province’s announcement today, bookings at all HRCE sites within the affected area are cancelled as of 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 26 until at least Thursday, Dec. 10.

There are no changes to school bookings within the municipality that are outside the affected area. There remains a number of COVID-19 regulations in-place for community bookings for participants. Full details of these regulations and HRCE facility bookings can be found online.

Facility bookings, rentals

Rentals at municipally-owned recreation facilities, community centres, arenas and sports fields in the affected area will be cancelled as of 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 26, and all bookings will be suspended until at least Thursday, Dec. 10.

For residents who have a booking that has been canceled, staff will be in touch in the coming days regarding the status of your account. We ask residents to wait to contact staff as they continue to help support ongoing service adjustments related to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Recreation programming, partner facilities, gyms & pools
With the closure of municipal recreation centres, pools and gymnasiums in the affected area, all recreation programming is cancelled for the rest of the fall season in those facilities. A further announcement on winter programming will be made in consultation with public health.

Municipal staff will begin contacting fall registrants on next steps. Your patience is appreciated during this time.

The following recreation centres will remain open:

  • Musquodoboit Harbour Recreation Centre – Rentals, fitness centre and programs
  • Musquodoboit Valley Recreation Office – Programs only
  • Sheet Harbour Recreation Office – Programs only

Several recreation facilities within the municipality are operated by community boards. All partner facilities located within the affected area will close. Those located outside the affected area may remain open. Residents are encouraged to contact partner recreation facilities directly for an update on operations.

While facilities are closed, residents are reminded to use REC at Home which offers a variety of activities that you can enjoy with your family – from arts and crafts, to at-home workouts.

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