COVID-19 Roundup: 1 new case, embracing biking, mask makers multiply, musician find new ways to reach audience

Kristen Martell

Yesterday, June 1, Nova Scotia confirmed one new case of COVID-19, for a total of 1,057 in the province. Six people are currently in hospital, two in ICU; 984 people have recovered.

Get on your bikes and ride
Nova Scotia cycle shops are seeing an explosion of interest in their sport. At Hub Cycle in Truro, the uptick began shortly after the start of the pandemic. “In those first two weeks, we told staff not to worry, that we would keep them employed,” says owner Bruce Roberts. “It was at that point when businesses left, right, and centre were shutting down. We weren’t busy-busy but then we began to kick into high gear.”

Since then, people have been clamouring to buy all sorts of bikes, with workers fielding some 1,000 messages per week. “I think we’re on a roll and the pandemic has heightened people’s awareness of bike training,” Roberts adds. “I expect we will see strong summer sales. Right now, being outdoors and the ability to get on a bike is unmatched.” Raissa Tetanish reports for Hub Now.

Exploring Nova Scotia by bike this summer? Recently, Halifax Magazine published this Pat Lee story about Adam Barnett’s guide to the province’s best cycling routes. Ed.

Musician seeks audience
As Mahone Bay singer/songwriter Kristen Martell prepares to launch her first album, Coming Home, the pandemic has left her with a challenge: how to build an audience? Usually, the formula is pretty clear: play a lot of gigs and festivals, get in front of as many people as possible. With her summer shows wiped out, she’s been streaming performances and talking to fans online, but she’s hopeful house concerts might offer a way for the live shows to resume.

“House concerts are gaining in popularity,” she says. “They’re usually smaller, 10 to 20 people, intimate. I’m looking forward to that.” She talks with Gayle Wilson about her new album in this recent LighthouseNow interview.

Dr. Brendan Carr.

Health procedures return
The Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) is now offering many of the health-care programs, services, and procedures that it postponed earlier in the pandemic. “Our teams across the organization have been working on how to safely reintroduce our health-care programs and services,” says Dr. Brendan Carr, president and CEO of NSHA. “We have made significant and unprecedented adjustments to the delivery of health care and careful planning is required.”

Outpatient clinics will continue to see patients virtually, with inpatient visits as required, writes Jake Boudrot in The Reporter. The sorts of clinics that are opening include wound care, ECG, MRI, ultrasound, renal, ultrasound, and orthopedic. Blood collection remains by appointment only. NSHA is also focusing on completing backlogged day surgeries and outpatient procedures. Schedules vary around the province.

“We know there are many Nova Scotians who are concerned about their health since their care or treatment has been delayed,” Carr says. “We… request your patience as resuming services is going to take some time as we assess and prioritize patients.”

Making masks and connecting community
Like many people, Diana Spurvey had a lot of free time after the pandemic hit. Her business, the Enchanted Door Gifts and Crafts in Pictou County, went dormant. To occupy her time, she began making masks for friends and family. People liked her work and the requests flooded in. Now she’s made hundreds.

Originally from the area, Spurvey lived in Ottawa for many years before recently coming home. “I was born in Westville,” she says. “My dad joined the military and when he retired my mother and he and three of my siblings who weren’t married moved back here.” Making masks has given her a chance to reconnect to the community. She tells Jackie Jardine about it in this Pictou Advocate story.

Share good news
Know a community group, good cause, or inspiring local story we should include? Email the editor.

This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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