Roundup: 125 COVID cases, another school infection, calls to reopen daytox program, documentary spotlights N.S. natural treasures, home study space DIY tips

As of yesterday (Nov. 29), Nova Scotia has 125 known active cases of COVID-19, with 10 new cases, all in the Central Zone, reported in the latest government update.

Premier Stephen McNeil. Photo: Communications N.S.

“Wherever you live in the province, we all have a role to play,” says Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil in a press release, “by limiting non-essential travel and following all the protocols: limit social contacts, practise social distancing, wear a mask, and wash your hands.”

Nova Scotia Health Authority labs completed 2,254 tests on Nov. 28, including 540 at the rapid-testing pop-up site in Dartmouth yesterday, revealing one positive result.

Nationally, Canada currently has 63,835 known cases of COVID-19, according to federal officials, with the bulk of the infections in Alberta (15,692), Ontario (13,779), and Quebec (11,991).

Another infection in school
Health officials also reported yesterday that they’ve confirmed another school-based case of COVID-19 at the Northeast Kings Education Centre in Canning, in the Western Zone. The school has been closed since the first case was announced on Nov. 24. “Given the school has been closed, this case is not believed to have been in school while infectious,” says the government press release.

Northeast Kings Education Centre remains closed this week.

Health Authority rejects calls to reopen daytox program
Even as they face the added stress of the pandemic, people in eastern Nova Scotia grappling with drug addiction are lack a key resource: the Nova Scotia Health Authority quietly closed the Outpatient Withdrawal Management Program (AKA daytox) at the Strait-Richmond Hospital.

Health officials are resisting calls to reinstate the program, with spokesman Brendan Elliot instead suggesting people call a toll-free line (only available Monday–Friday during business hours) for support. Jake Boudrot calls for change in this editorial from The Reporter.

A tale as old as time
In every classic story, the heroes face setbacks and reverses before emerging victorious. In our COVID experiences, author Steven Laffoley sees a classic story arc that’s as old as humanity.

“We are nearing the end of our story. Almost,” he writes. “As much as we might like to bypass the ‘all is lost’ moment of our tale—the sudden rise in cases… certainly portends otherwise. For all of us, such a setback stings with the memory of that first crisis moment when our world turned upside-down.” 

Laffoley urges dispirited Nova Scotians to remember the lessons of our timeless tales: “This is just a part of the whole story, the part where we take stock of our hard-earned wisdom and our steely-eyed confidence before stepping up to meet this final challenge and looking ahead to that new world, ordered and agreeable, waiting on the other side.”

Read more in Laffoley’s recent Halifax Magazine essay.

Spotlighting Nova Scotia’s natural treasures
Last night, the TVO documentary series Striking Balance highlighted the Southwest Nova Biosphere. A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 2001, the area includes encompasses Kejimkujik National Park and the Tobeatic Wilderness Area in Queens County, plus parts of Annapolis, Digby, Yarmouth, and Shelburne counties.

“The episode highlights the work of several national park employees, members of the Acadia First Nation, members of the Nova Scotia Community College, area fishers and researchers, as well as Myrna Gillis, chief executive officer of the Brooklyn cannabis company, Aqualitas,” says this LighthouseNow story. Follow this link to see the episode.

The perfect home study space
This year, many Nova Scotian parents learned that ad hoc home study spaces like the dining room don’t really serve kids’ needs. But creating a nook where your kids can learn effectively, with minimal stress, isn’t that hard to do.

“I felt it was important for [my daughter] to have a designated space to learn,” says parent and interior designer Virginia Ward. “Somewhere quiet, organized, and as distraction-free as possible.” Learn how she achieved that and get lots of DIY tips you can try at home right now in this recent Heather Laura Clarke story from Our Children.

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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