COVID-19 Roundup: More testing, a nurse becomes a community leader, protecting health-care workers

Nova Scotia artist Melanie Morrisey.

As of April 6, Nova Scotia has 293 confirmed cases of COVID-19. That’s up 31 since the previous day, the largest single-day increase in the province since the pandemic began.

More testing, precautions
Now that community spread is present in Nova Scotia, the health department has removed travel as a requirement to be tested for COVID-19. Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, has directed long-term care homes to enhance cleaning, monitoring of residents and staff, testing, and reporting. “It is critical we take further measures to protect our family members in long-term care homes,” Strang says in a press release. ” The directive will ensure that each facility, regardless of size, has all the information and resources to protect our seniors in their care.”

Keeping health-care workers safe
Five different unions are calling on the provincial government to sign a protocol committing to more measures to protect Nova Scotian health-care workers during the pandemic. Alberta and Ontario have signed on to similar agreements with their workers. “We understand that personal protective equipment is in short supply worldwide but this protocol strikes a balance between protecting both our supply and our frontline workers,” says a statement from the unions. See Jake Boudrot’s story in The Reporter.

Artists supporting good causes
Truro artist Melanie Morrisey was preparing for a solo exhibition, when the pandemic cancelled her plans. While she’s been part of group shows in the last few years, the solo show was a long time coming. “I wanted to wait until I had enough artwork I was really proud of,” she explains. “This took me a little over two years to put together.” Soon she was thinking about how the situation was affecting others in her community and realized that her setback provided an opportunity. Now she’s auctioning off her favourite piece from the exhibit as a fundraiser for the local food bank. Raissa Tetanish reports for Hub Now.

Nurse and community leader
The pandemic has put health-care workers top of mind for most Nova Scotians but even in normal circumstances, they’re out there every day, making a difference in our communities. Few people exemplify that more than Sylvia Wedderburn: when the nurse from New York made Halifax her home, she touched countless lives. “I’ve known Wedderburn for many years and have seen how she devoted her life to serving Nova Scotians through her work,” writes Dorothy Grant in this recent Halifax Magazine story.

COVID-19… Round 2
It looked like Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Thailand had beaten the pandemic. Suddenly, their numbers are climbing again. That’s discouraging news, but it may provide useful insights for our policymakers. “Viruses don’t know what a border is,” explains Adam Rogers in this story from Wired. “These countries are experiencing ‘reimportation’ of the disease, infections that are the result of inbound travellers from places that aren’t winning their fight against COVID-19.”

Need to know
Know a community group, good cause, or inspiring local story we should share? Email the editor.

This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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