Premier Iain Rankin and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang held a briefing on Tuesday as the province reported a single new case of the virus.
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“Tomorrow is an exciting day, opening up to the rest of Canada,” Rankin said.
“Let’s not give up. We need to keep getting vaccinated and keep getting tested and keep following the protocols. “
As part of the third phase, the province will open its borders with New Brunswick without restrictions. It will also allow fully vaccinated travelers from the rest of Canada to enter the province without isolating themselves.
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Those from outside Atlantic Canada who are partially vaccinated or unvaccinated will be allowed entry, but will be required to self-isolate for seven or 14 days, respectively.
In addition, the third stage would allow the full opening of personal services, such as hair salons and spas.
The stores would operate at 75 percent of their capacity. Wedding ceremonies and funerals would be allowed at 50% of their capacity up to 100 people indoors and 150 people outdoors.
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Strang said that while he is optimistic about the low number of cases in the province, the Delta variant “remains our greatest risk” and that vaccination is key. This is especially important, he said, as the province opens up to travelers and relaxes restrictions.
“We are certainly taking more risks by opening the borders and removing the restrictions and opening up to the rest of the country,” Strang said.
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“(Although this is) absolutely the right thing to do, we have to understand that we are taking more risks. “
He said there are currently two clusters of cases – one in the central area involving families with close contact and a smaller cluster in Cape Breton involving a workplace.
In either case, he said, “underimmunization” is a factor.
“Where we continue to see COVID activity really take hold is where you have communities where there is less than ideal uptake of the vaccine,” he said.
People stressed by Strang should increase their second dose of immunization earlier when possible, and make the first available appointment because mixing the two mRNA vaccines is allowed.
He also said there was pressure to encourage more people in their 20s to get vaccinated. The province opened a walk-in clinic at the Halifax Convention Center for first doses on Tuesday, and there is a movement to bring vaccines to some workplaces.
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There are currently 135,000 appointments booked this week and Tuesday marks a record day with over 31,000 vaccinations underway.
“We have worked hard throughout this pandemic,” Strang said.
“The last and final step in getting there, to do what is necessary to protect each other, to take care of each other, is to get vaccinated. “
1 new case
The province reported only one new case of COVID-19 on Tuesday and seven new recoveries.
The case is in the East Zone and is a close contact of a previously reported case.
The Department of Education and Childhood Development further said the case was linked to Glace Bay Elementary School. The school will be closed on Wednesday and will undergo a thorough cleaning.
Since the school year was supposed to end on Wednesday anyway, an update will be sent to staff, students and families on how to collect personal effects.
Public health is reaching out to close contacts, however, “out of caution,” they recommend that all staff and students be tested for COVID-19.
Nova Scotia Health Laboratories performed 2,399 tests on Monday. Province now has 51 active cases of COVID-19, including two people hospitalized
As of Monday, 898,247 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered, including 193,200 second doses.
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