Roundup: 10 more COVID deaths, man who kidnapped & assaulted teen released, Opposition decries Strait-area ER closures, softball team gears up for Canada Games

Assistant coach Lisa White, from left, stands with fellow Stellarton and Area Minor Girls Softball Association members of Nova Scotia’s female Canada Summer Games softball team: Maddi MacIntyre, Carris Austin, Brooke Schneider, and Jayden Palmer.

Plus: A pair of successful Halifax restaurateurs share how they’re weathering the pandemic

COVID-19 killed 10 more Nova Scotians from June 7 to 13, provincial health officials report in their latest update, also tallying 1,950 new lab-confirmed infections and 28 hospitalizations.

The confirmed cases count now includes people who previously had the disease.

“Since the beginning of the Omicron wave, there have been 215 people who have tested positive 90 days or more after a previous positive PCR test result,” says Dr. Shelley Deeks, Nova Scotia’s deputy chief medical officer of health, in a press release. “At this point, many Nova Scotians have tested positive for COVID-19, so the chances of reinfection become more probable; that is why we have shifted our reporting to include the number of reinfections in our weekly case count.”

So far, COVID has killed 431 Nova Scotians (with 319 of those deaths coming in the current Omicron wave), 41,470 Canadians, and 6,313,229 people worldwide

David James Leblanc. File photo

Kidnapper released
David James Leblanc, who lured a teen to a Lunenburg County cabin 10 years ago with the promise of a job, then chained and repeatedly sexually assaulted him for more than a week, is on conditional release from federal prison in British Columbia, living in a halfway house.

The Parole Board of Canada cautions that his “risk to reoffend sexually is high” and concerns remain about his “history of violence.”

Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

Concerns over emergency-room closures
Canso Strait-area residents and Opposition politicians are in outcry over Nova Scotia Health’s plans to only offer emergency services at the Evanston hospital “a few days a week,” depending on the doctors’ schedules. “We are unable to elaborate on the specific days the department will be open,” says NSH area director Angela MacArthur.

That’s a betrayal of rural voters, according to Opposition health critic Patricia Arab.

“They won an election last year promising to fix health care,” she says. “This wasn’t a premier who was new to the job. He had been an MLA since 2013, he knew, and should have known, what the issues in health care were going to be, yet he still made the promise. And quite frankly, rural Nova Scotia afforded him the majority government that he has right now.”

Jake Boudrot has more for the Reporter.

N.S. softball team prepares for Canada Games
Nova Scotia’s softball team is excitedly preparing to represent the province at the 2022 Canada Games, and the Stellarton and Area Minor Girls Softball Association is making a big contribution to the squad, providing four players and an assistant coach.

“It feels great, super exciting,” says infielder Maddi MacIntyre. “It’s a good group of girls to be playing with.”

See Steve Goodwin’s story in the Pictou Advocate.

Chef Terry Vassallo and partner Simone Mombourquette. Photo: Bruce Murray

Through the storm
Simone Mombourquette, who co-owns Mappatura Bistro with partner (and chef) Terry Vassallo, vividly recalls the last weekend before Halifax’s first COVID-19 lockdown, in March 2020.

The restaurant was packed, permeated with a frantic exuberance. “It was incredible,” she says. “I’ll never forget it. There was no talk about what was going on outside of these walls. People were having a good time. They were happy, joyous, like the last kick of the can.” 

Since then, nothing has been the same — not the same as it was before the pandemic, and rarely the same even from one day to the next. But that’s a familiar story for many small-business operators.

“Your whole life is pivoting,” Vassallo says. “It’s just a series of pivots … So, four years in, Simone and I’d already done quite a bit of pivoting. We just kept it moving.” 

They share their pandemic survival story with Robyn McNeil in the latest issue of Unravel Halifax.

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