Roundup: 17.6% of N.S. fully vaccinated, vandal attacks cars in New Glasgow, residential school discoveries create learning opportunities, Richmond municipal workers vote on union

Roberta Banfield vaccinates Dr. Robert Strang. Photo: Communications NS

Nova Scotia has 57 known active cases of COVID-19, with four new cases and four recoveries reported in the latest government update. One of the new cases is in the Central Zone, where health officials say “limited” community spread continues and three are in the Eastern Zone. There are two people hospitalized in provincial COVID units.

So far, the pandemic has killed 26,238 Canadians, including 92 Nova Scotians.

“Vaccine uptake continues to be high, but we are aiming to have at least 85% of eligible Nova Scotians vaccinated,” Premier Iain Rankin says in a press release. “If you have not yet received your COVID-19 vaccine, it is important to get your first dose as soon as possible to protect your loved ones and your community.”

As of June 27, 71.6% of Nova Scotians have received one dose of vaccine, and 17.6% have had both jabs. Nationally, 67.2% of Canadians have had one shot, and 27.8% are fully inoculated.

“I’m pleased to hear that many employers are supporting their employees’ decision to get vaccinated,” says Dr. Robert Strang, who got his second vaccine dose yesterday. “Some employers have gone above and beyond and are encouraging hesitant employees and providing incentives to their employees to get vaccinated. We are all working together to get as many people as possible vaccinated, and the support from employers is an important part.”

Strang and Rankin are scheduled to webcast an update today at 3 p.m.

Brian Owens

Tick terror
Ticks and Lyme disease are now year-round threats in Nova Scotia, and the risk is highest this time of year, making the new book Lyme Disease in Canada by Brian Owens (from Formac Publishing in Halifax), especially timely.  

“The publisher asked me to write it, presumably after Googling ‘science writer in Maritimes,'” says Owens. “But I thought it was a really interesting topic that is often dismissed or ignored and deserved to be explored further. I’ve had several friends affected by Lyme and wanted to help people learn more about it.”

He aims to offer readers an overview of the current state of knowledge about the disease, with a Canadian perspective, writing about “its history, the controversy around its diagnosis and treatment, and what you can do to protect yourself,” says Owens. “It includes the story of the failed human vaccine, as well as the politicians and patient advocates who have worked to raise awareness.”

Krisi Marples interviews him for Halifax Magazine.

Vandal attacks cars in New Glasgow
Local police are investigating after receiving 27 complaints about scratches and damage to cars in the New Glasgow area. The vandalism occurred on June 26 and 27 in the areas of Elm Street, Lavinia Street, Company Street, and Abercrombie Road.

The Pictou Advocate has more.

Paul Ash

Educator reacts to residential school discoveries
As the academic year ends, educators are already thinking about students’ return to classrooms, and how they’ll address the discovery of unmarked graves at residential schools.

“In times of grief and sadness, there’s an opportunity for us as an educational system to make sure we’re using these teachable moments to encourage conversations in our classrooms,” says Paul Ash, regional executive director of the South Shore Regional Centre of Education. “It creates learning opportunities for us, and speaks to the importance of following through on the commitments we have made.”

Kevin McBain reports for LighthouseNow.

Richmond municipal workers vote on union
Labour leaders are optimistic as they await the results of a vote by Richmond municipal staff on joining the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union.

“It seems like the group is pretty resolute; I believe they’re going to become NSGEU members,” says union president Jason MacLean. “For this group alone, it’s about having the protections of the union there … It’s not just any one issue. Everybody wants to be treated equally, and people want a set of rules that everyone must abide by, and that is the collective agreement.”

If the municipality doesn’t object (which would trigger a hearing on the process), the vote results should be available in two weeks.

Jake Boudrot has the story for The Reporter.

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

Editor’s Note: The Roundup returns on July 7.

This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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