‘Time to take tough action’: New restrictions announced as NS sees 37 new COVID-19 cases

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HALIFAX – As Nova Scotia reports 37 new cases of COVID-19 – the most cases the province has seen since April – Premier Stephen McNeil says it is “time to take tough action” to limit the spread. “Thirty-seven cases in one day. If that doesn’t concern you enough, I don’t know what it is. If you haven’t woken up in wave two, it’s your wake-up call, ”McNeil said before announcing new restrictions at a press conference in Halifax on Tuesday.

“There is no doubt that COVID is in our communities and it is trying to take hold of the greater Halifax area. We need to stop the spread now. ”

The new restrictions affect restaurants, retail stores, organized sports and fitness facilities, among others.

As of midnight 1 Thursday morning, the following measures will apply for two weeks in the West and Central Halifax region, which the province defines as Hubbards HRM to, and including, Porters Lake and communities to Elmsdale and Mount Uniacke in Hants County:

  • the collection limit in public is five, or up to the number of immediate family members in a household.

  • Face masks should be worn in common areas of multi-unit residential buildings, such as apartment buildings and condos.
  • Restaurants and approved establishments are closed for in-person meals. They can always provide take out and deliveries.
  • Retail stores must limit buyers and personnel to 25 percent or less of authorized capacity.
  • Cellars, breweries and distilleries cannot organize in-person tastings or meals and must follow retail rules in their stores. Curbside delivery and pickup is permitted.
  • Organized sporting, recreational, sporting, artistic and cultural activities and religious activities are paused.
  • For-profit and non-profit fitness and leisure facilities are closed.
  • Libraries and museums are closed. This includes the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
  • the First Nations casinos and gaming establishments are closed.

  • Stricter application of illegal gatherings. Anyone who attends an illegal gathering could be fined $ 1,000.

The restrictions will continue for two weeks until midnight on December 9, but they could be extended.

Staff, volunteers and designated caregivers at HRM’s long-term care facilities will undergo voluntary testing every two weeks starting Friday.

Schools, after-school programs and daycares will remain open. Some personal service businesses, such as hairdressers, estheticians, and nail salons in western and central HRM may continue, except for procedures that cannot be performed when a client is wearing a mask.

Nova Scotians are also urged to avoid non-essential travel to and from the Western and Central Regional Municipality of Halifax and to avoid traveling to other Atlantic provinces for reasons not essential.

NEW RESTRICTIONS ACROSS NOVA SCOTIA

Starting at midnight 1 Thursday, the following new restrictions apply throughout Nova Scotia, in all zones:

  • No visitors, other than volunteers and designated caregivers, will be allowed in long-term care facilities, adult residential centers and regional rehabilitation centers approved by the Department of Community Services.

  • Sports teams are limited to local or regional play only.

  • No extracurricular activities between schools.

“Everything we announce today will have an impact, but due to the incubation period of the virus, we will see these high numbers extend next week to 10 days,” said the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Dr Robert Strang. . “As we start to see the impact of our hard measures, it will take at least a week, if not 10 days, to really see an impact. ”

Strang said he expects to see a high number of cases over the next few days and the province is ready to see confirmed cases in hospitals or long-term care facilities.

“I don’t want to scare people, but I want people to have a realistic picture of what we’re up against… if we’ve forgotten how serious COVID-19 is, this is a reminder. And we all have to work together to get out of it and we all have to start today, now. ”

BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING

One of the busiest shopping days of the year is just a few days away, but Strang urges people to focus only on essential shopping or shop online. He noted that crowded stores are of particular concern, which is why Halifax area retail stores need to restrict shoppers and staff.

“We need to reduce the crowds in the stores. If you’re thinking of coming to Halifax this weekend for Black Friday, think again, ”Strang said. “HRM, for the next two weeks at least, is not a shopping destination for the rest of the province. ”

Only one person in a household should purchase essential items. When it comes to non-essential holiday shopping, Strang says it’s safer to shop for items online or arrange curbside pickup. He also urges Nova Scotians to support their local businesses at this time.

37 NEW CASES OF COVID-19; CASE CONFIRMED AT SCHOOL

Nova Scotia reported 37 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday – the largest single-day increase since April 23, when the province reported a record 55 cases.

There are now 87 active cases in the province. A previously reported case is now considered resolved.

Of the new cases, 35 are located in the central area of ​​the province, which includes the Halifax Regional Municipality.

There is also a case identified in the West Zone, involving a student at the Northeast Kings Education Center in Canning, Nova Scotia. The student isolates himself and the case is investigated.

The school will be closed for the remainder of the week while health officials conduct contact tracing and disinfect the building.

A case has also been identified in the northern area, although this case is linked to Halifax.

McNeil said most of the new cases were in people between the ages of 18 and 35.

On Monday, the Nova Scotia Health Authority labs performed 1,561 tests in Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia recorded a total of 130,113 negative and 1,227 positive COVID-19 tests. Of the 1,227 positive cases, 1,075 are considered resolved and 65 people have died, leaving 87 active cases.

As of Tuesday, 118 new cases had been identified in the province this month, marking the highest total of new cases in a month since April, when 853 new cases were reported.

There is no one in the hospital because of COVID-19.

Confirmed cases in the province range from under 10 to over 90.

Sixty percent of cases are women and 40% are men.

There are confirmed cases across the province, but most have been identified in the central area, which contains the Halifax Regional Municipality.

The provincial government says cumulative cases by area may change as data is updated in Panorama, the province’s electronic information system.

The numbers reflect where a person lives, not where their sample was collected.

  • West zone: 59 cases

  • Central zone: 1035 cases

  • North zone: 78 cases

  • East Zone: 55 cases

THE PATRONS OF THE HALIFAX BAR AND RESTAURANT INVITED TO BE TESTED

Nova Scotia Health is asking anyone who works at a licensed facility or has been to a bar or restaurant in the Halifax Regional Municipality after 10 p.m. in the past two weeks to book a COVID-19 test, even if she has no symptoms.

The announcement is part of what the government calls a “broad asymptomatic screening strategy for people who go to or work in nightlife bars and restaurants.”

People who work in an approved establishment or who have been to an urban and suburban HRM bar or restaurant after 10 p.m. since November 10 are invited to visit the COVID self-assessment page to schedule a COVID-19 test. .

COVID ALERT APPLICATION

The Canadian COVID-19 alert application is available in Nova Scotia.

The app, which can be downloaded through Apple’s App Store or Google Play, informs users if they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

LIST OF SYMPTOMS

Anyone who has a fever, a new or worsening cough, or two or more of the following new or worsening symptoms, are encouraged to take an online test or call 811 to determine if they should be. tested for COVID-19:

SELF-INSULATION AND MANDATORY MASKS

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate at home, away from the public, for 14 days.

Anyone traveling to Nova Scotia from outside the Atlantic region for non-essential reasons must self-isolate for 14 days and must complete a self-report form before coming to the province. Travelers should isolate themselves, away from others. If they can’t isolate themselves, their entire household must also self-isolate for 14 days.

Residents of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador are not required to self-isolate when traveling to Nova Scotia, but they must be prepared to provide proof of their place of residence at the provincial borders.

Visitors from outside the Atlantic region who have already isolated themselves in another Atlantic province for 14 days can travel to Nova Scotia without having to isolate themselves again.

It is mandatory to wear a face shield in indoor public spaces in Nova Scotia.

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