NOTE: This week is now over. For the very latest news, please go here. But for an informative look back at exactly how Nova Scotia responded to COVID-19 in realtime, keep on reading.
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Editor's note: In its 28 years The Coast has never been a just-the-facts news service, but for these strange times this news centre offers quick-hit updates.
Sunday, September 20
Yesterday came close to a perfect weekend day. Today hit the target. The province is reporting no sign of COVID-19—no cases active or diagnosed—in its daily update. Plus, as of this morning, Hurricane Teddy is projected to veer off to the east and barely graze the tip of Cape Breton.
What a relief to be thinking about natural disasters besides pandemics. Also a relief to see that storm forecast changing for the better. We’ll pay attention to the tracking as Teddy and Tuesday approach. For now, here's an image of the track as of Sunday, 8:15am.
Saturday, September 19
This is almost exactly how a Saturday should be: No new cases, no active cases, no sign of COVID-19 in the province’s daily update, Hurricane Teddy on track to whallop Nova Scotia.
You can probably guess why we said “almost.”
Friday, September 18
Limits raised for arts and sports
Today the province announced a big change to COVID-19 restrictions around sports and arts. Right now during such activities, a maximum of 10 people are allowed to be together without any physical distancing or masks—that’s no more than 10 on a theatre stage, at a hockey practise, in an orchestra. But starting October 1, the limit will go up to 50 people.
A 50-person allowance is a quantum leap, opening up a range of possibilities. Instead of a small hockey practise for 10, suddenly two teams and coaches and referees are allowed to be together. Game on! Instead of the string section rehearsing, a whole symphony orchestra can perform. Get Bach to business!
”This change also applies to recreational league sports, like adult hockey, and drop-in activities, like open swims and skates,” says the province’s emailed announcement. “Unorganized or casual games, like pickup basketball or soccer in the park, must adhere to existing gathering rules of small groups of 10 without physical distancing within a maximum of 50 with physical distancing.”
In that announcement, top doc Robert Strang says the change is thanks to C19 being well under control in the province: “Art and sport are vital to our physical, mental and social well-being. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has put some of these activities on hold. Nova Scotia continues to see low COVID-19 activity, allowing us to safely resume important activities Nova Scotians enjoy."
That said, a change in our disease status could cause restrictions to be tightened back up. “All organizations are asked to have a rollback plan in place,” advises the province, “should gathering limits need to be reduced again.”
The limit on audience numbers hasn’t moved—it stays at 200 people indoors (250 outdoors) with physical distancing and masks. Although artists and athletes don’t have to wear masks in their 50-person groups, the province says “wearing masks and maintaining distance as much as possible continues to be encouraged for these activities.”
Finally a recovery
You know that person 🤢 who’s had Nova Scotia’s one active case of COVID-19 🌡️ for the past few days? They’ve recovered! 🥳 🥂
On top of no active cases, the province is reporting no new cases. That’s 11 straight days, fast approaching the milestone of two weeks/one whole virus incubation cycle.
Unfortunately, we have had longer streaks of case-free days, and still the awful disease keeps coming back. So Stephen McNeil’s government also extended the province’s state of emergency for another two weeks—as it has every two weeks since the first two-week SOE was called. The extension officially starts at noon this Sunday, September 20, and continues for the next fortnight unless it’s cancelled or extended yet again. (Hint: Bet on the extension. 😉)
Thursday, September 17
And that’s 10
COVID-19 has not disappeared from Nova Scotia. The province’s daily update says there is still one person diagnosed here who is still actively fighting the disease. Besides that person, the patient whose case "had been identified in another province" is still here, last we heard, even though they do not appear anywhere on local case statistics. (“This individual will remain in Nova Scotia until their infection is resolved,” officials told us on Tuesday.)
And let's not forget there could be people, asymptomatic or not, who haven’t yet been diagnosed. That is a distinct possibility.
This is just excellent news, especially as provinces west of the Atlantic bubble are going through a major surge in new cases. (Warning: The following graph shows levels of pandemic spread not seen for months, and may not be suitable for young children and those with painful memories of the original lockdown.)
Wednesday, September 16
A nothing sort of day
There’s not much in the province’s COVID-19 update. No new cases. No change in the status of that one patient with an active case. Nobody dying from the disease, nobody in hospital because of it. No added restrictions or closures, no loosening.
In short, no problems. And we don’t have a problem with that.
For an added bonus, no other province in Canada has a current no-case streak as long as ours. No region of the North has had a case since late July, but among provinces, Nova Scotia's nine-day streak is best. West of the Atlantic bubble, C19 cases are increasing scarily fast; a single day without a case has become rare. On the east coast, PEI had two cases yesterday, New Brunswick had one the day before, and there was one in Newfoundland and Labrador on Saturday.
Tuesday, September 15
Green is good
For the eighth straight day, Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 update is reporting no new cases. Currently there is only one person known to have an active case in the province, and that patient remains well enough that they aren’t in the hospital.
Speaking of case-free streaks, the Eastern and Western health authority zones have now gone a full two weeks without a diagnosis, so on our map their status shifts from the yellow-ish colour to easygoing green. Only the Central zone—an area encompassing Halifax and a wide margin around the city—has had a case within a C19 incubation period.
Monday, September 14
Today’s provincial COVID-19 update is reporting no new cases, and just one person known to have an active case of this rotten disease. That person is not in the hospital.
Looks like the humans are off to a good start this week in Nova Scotia. The coronavirus, not so much.
News updates archives
September 7 week. August 31 week. August 24 week. August 17 week. August 10 week. August 3 week. July 27 week. July 20 week. July 13 week. July 6 week. June 29 week. June 22 week. June 15 week. June 8 week. June 1 week. May 25 week. May 18 week. May 11 week. May 4 week. April 27 week. April 20 week. April 13 week.