COVID-19 Roundup: New cases dip, tourism uncertainty, art that heals, students lose work placements

Dr. Robert Strang. Photo: Communications Nova Scotia

Yesterday, April 26, Nova Scotia confirmed just eight new cases of COVID-19, its lowest one-day increase in several weeks. However, there were two more deaths at the Northwood long-term care home in Halifax, raising the provincial pandemic death toll to 24. There are currently 13 cases in Nova Scotian hospitals, including three in ICU.

Stay on target
Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, warns people that it’s far too soon to slacken efforts to fight the pandemic. “We continue to see the devastating impact this virus can have,” he says in a recent press release. “Please stay strong and stay the course. You can and should enjoy the outdoors … but please do it safely. Stay in your yard, walk around your neighbhourhood, and keep your distance from others.”

How do students gain work experience?
For many Nova Scotian students, work placements are a critical part of their learning, a last step before graduating and entering the workforce. This spring, many of those learning positions have vanished. In this report for Lighthouse Now, Gayle Wilson explores what that means for NSCC students. “[We’re trying] to figure out how we can make something happen and when it can happen,” says associate vice-president Taralee Hammond. “Finding work placements will be challenging, if not improbable.”

Will there be any tourists?
Throughout Nova Scotia, but particularly in rural areas, hundreds of businesses rely on tourism traffic to get them through the year. As the pandemic drags on, many are worrying that traffic simply won’t come this year or perhaps even next.

Creamery Square on the Tatamagouche waterfront is home to a heritage centre, farmers’ market, and arts centre. Without visitors, it faces an uncertain future. “Will those tourists be coming if we’re still social distancing?” wonders Creamery Square Heritage Society board member Phyllis Yates. Last year, some 3,000 people visited the site, bringing in $15,000 in revenue for “That’s a big portion of our operating budget.” Raissa Tetanish reports for The Light.

Learn more: Jim Gourlay, founding editor of Saltscapes and an editorial consultant with Advocate Media, is working on a report about how Nova Scotia’s tourism industry can adapt. Look for that in Halifax Magazine soon.

A work world transformed
As many workplaces closed or cut operations to fight the spread of the infection, the last month has seen Canadian work culture suddenly transformed. According to Statistics Canada, some 4.7 million Canadians began working at home starting the week of March 22.

In his latest Halifax Magazine column, Peter Moorhouse has advice to help workers and employers alike adapt to the new reality. And at its core is common-sense decency: “Extend trust. An employee can tell when you suspect they won’t work as hard from home. If you’ve made the decision to allow remote work, follow through by trusting your team.”

Art that heals
As Nova Scotians struggle to process the twin tragedies of the Portapique attacks and the pandemic, many are turning to art. Pictou area artist Elisa Rutledge created this painting last Monday evening. Via The Pictou Advocate.

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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