COVID-19 Roundup: Masks on the front lines, locally made protective equipment, Quinpool is open for business

Yesterday, April 14, Nova Scotia confirmed 29 new cases of COVID-19, raising the provincial total to 474.

Masks for front-line workers
Starting today, the provincial health department will distribute masks to all front-line workers in residential care and continuing care facilities and to home-care employees, according to a government press release. “We’re now seeing increased community spread and we know from other jurisdictions that this means an increase in cases in long-term care facilities,” says Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. “It’s almost impossible for people working in long-term care facilities to practise physical distancing given they are helping people who need hands-on care. Wearing a surgical mask is another measure we can use to prevent further spread of infection and protect health-care workers and those most at risk of becoming severely ill.”

Museums to the people
Workers at the Army Museum at Halifax Citadel were preparing to reopen for the season when it became apparent the pandemic was going to keep their doors closed, probably for quite some time. Curator Ken Hynes and his team had to face the question: how does a museum stay relevant when its doors are locked? “If we can’t have people come into the museum, why can’t we bring the museum to the people?” says Hynes. In this Halifax Magazine feature, Olivia Malley looks at how local museums are addressing that challenge with video tours, virtual exhibitions, and even trivia contests.

Photo: United Sign

Sign of the times
In two weeks, Dartmouth’s United Sign has shifted gears from signage to making protective equipment for health-care workers. “Most people are trying to make face shields with 3-D printing, but that’s too slow to make the quantities needed,” owner Matt Symes says in a press release. “We found a way to cut them from sheets of polycarbonate, which means we can make them fairly quickly in the quantity the market needs.” Production is underway on 50,000 shields, with plans to ship 10,000 to New Brunswick this week.

Quinpool is open for business (but stay home)
As the retailers and restaurants of Quinpool Road have, like countless others around the province, seen business plummet, many have come up with creative ways to keep serving customers. The twin challenges are setting up the necessary e-commerce infrastructure and letting consumers know their options. To help, the Quinpool Road Mainstreet District Association has brought its 120 member businesses together in a single online-shopping portal. “These shops, services, and restaurants have modified their operations to meet current conditions, allowing for delivery or safe pickup procedures in accordance with current government regulations,” says a press release from the association.

It never rains but it pours
In neighbouring New Brunswick, people may soon be battling the dual threats of both pandemic and flooding. “The province advised residents living or working along waterways in New Brunswick should be vigilant,” says a story in the St. Croix Courier. “Officials are also closely watching for ice movement in the upper Saint John River basin, which would increase the risk of ice jams. Ice jams have the potential to cause a rapid increase of water levels.”

Need to know
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This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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