COVID-19 Roundup: Latest stats, health-care changes, myth busting, vaccine progress

There’s a lot of COVID-19 news to process. To help readers sort through the clutter, Halifax Magazine offers this daily opinionated exploration of the news, sharing must-read stories from across the Advocate Media network and sources around the world.

The Latest Numbers
According to the latest government update, Nova Scotia currently has 51 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been 2,474 negative tests.

A Rapidly Transforming Health-Care System
Yesterday afternoon, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang announce several changes to the province’s health-care system as it adapts to the COVID-19 pandemic. A government press release outlines the measures, which include: testing all close contacts of confirmed cases, increasing lab capacity to process those tests, expanding virtual-care options so people can have medical appointments without face-to-face contact, and more rigorous infection-control measures in hospitals.

Beware the COVID Scammers
It hasn’t taken the Internet’s scammers long to adapt to our new world. In his latest post, Halifax Magazine consumer-affairs blogger Peter Moorhouse takes a look at the newest scams trading on people’s fear and confusion. There’s the usual assortment of hucksters offering non-existent cures and vaccines, plus an insidious new wrinkle: fake web stores that take your money but never send you any toilet paper.

Progress On a Vaccine
And despite what the Internet’s many scammers are saying, we’re still many months (12–18, say most experts), from a vaccine. If that sounds discouraging, consider how many people are working around the world, on a tremendous variety of approaches, to develop a vaccine. From Massachusetts to Saskatchewan to Australia, the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society offers this detailed summary of research efforts worldwide.

Looking Out For Each Other
As COVID-19 forces most people into social isolation, groups are quickly coming together (from a safe distance) around the province to try to make sure the most vulnerable Nova Scotians aren’t left to fend for themselves. Recently, Jackie Jardine wrote in The Pictou Advocate about one such group, which began when one person from New Glasgow wondered how his 96-year-old neighbour was doing. When she wrote the story, Helping During Coronavirus—Pictou County had 3,000 members. Now it’s up to 4,800+.

Cheers For Health-Care Workers
Even as they’ve seen their operations flipped upside down, many local small-businesses are find ways to support their communities. In a press release yesterday, Benjamin Bridge winery announced that (until June 7), it will donate 10% of the sales from its 2019 vintage Nova 7 “to hospital foundations in the province to support front-line health workers in the community fight against COVID-19.”

Weigh In
Know a community group, good cause, or inspiring local story we should share? Email the editor.

PS: Wash Your Damn Hands
You’re already doing that? Great! Do it right and do it more.

This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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