Roundup: 90 COVID cases—asymptomatic testing begins, 400+ buoys for Christmas tree, push for better rural Internet continues, finding the joy in pandemic holidays


Nova Scotia’s tally of known active cases of COVID-19 stands at 90, with eight new cases identified in the latest government update. Four of the new cases are in Central Zone, including the school-based case reported Dec. 6 at Ian Forsyth Elementary School in Dartmouth.

Two cases are in Western Zone, including the school-based case reported Dec. 6 at Berwick and District School. The other two cases are in Eastern Zone.

Dr. Robert Strang. Photo: CNS

Nova Scotia Health Authority labs completed 1,242 tests on Dec. 6; there were no rapid-testing pop-up sites.

“Over the past few days, we have seen a decline in case numbers,” says Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, in a press release. “While this is good news, it is does not mean that COVID-19 is no longer a risk. If we don’t follow all the public health measures, we could easily see a spike in cases.”

Asymptomatic COVID testing begins
Government also announced yesterday that Nova Scotians with no COVID-19 symptoms can now book appointments for testing. The announcement recommends the tests for “people who have a lot of close social interaction through gatherings or many social contacts.”

In Central Zone, people can go to the Sportsplex in Dartmouth for an asymptomatic test without an appointment. Elsewhere, appointments are required. Book here. Health officials also plan to continue pop-up testing at sites around the province.

“A negative test result is a good indication that a person is not able to spread the COVID-19 virus at the time of testing but it does not mean that they could not become infectious in the next few days,” cautions the press release. “People who receive a negative test result must continue to follow public health measures and if they develop symptoms, immediately self-isolate and complete the COVID-19 self-assessment.”

Stephanie Ogilvie

New restaurateurs face trial by fire
As COVID wreaks havoc on the industry, the news is full of stories of restaurants struggling to stay alive. Yet in the midst of the uncertainty, some brave people are opening new spots.

Chefs Stephanie Ogilvie and Brock Unger, are co-owners of five-month-old Hop Scotch Dinner Club on Barrington Street. Ogilvie believes the pandemic may help new restaurateurs like them compete with more established businesses.

“The extreme circumstances we’re finding ourselves in: everyone else is in the same boat,” she says. Janet Whitman reports for Halifax Magazine.

Citizens push for better Internet and cell service
A group lobbying to improve cell and Internet service in Inverness County is calling on the municipality to work with them and coordinate efforts to improve the area’s chances of accessing government funding.

“Develop Nova Scotia… still has more money,” says group member Bill Murphy. “One you identify the gaps, you can ask them to provide more money to fill those gaps… We, or the county, or Bell, or Develop Nova Scotia can all apply for the money to also extend the fibre net.” Jake Boudrot has details for The Reporter.

Buoy, what a tree!
It’s looking a lot like Christmas on the Pugwash wharf, where a nine-metre Maritime-inspired holiday tree stands. Organizers threw themselves into the project after seeing the popularity of a similar creation in Pubnico.

“We were really inspired by that one,” says Jennifer Jamieson. “We lost count of how many buoys we used, but we estimate it to be at least 400… Most of the buoys have been donated and most of them are local.” Raissa Tetanish has the story for The Light.

A little more of what we love
This year, holiday celebrations are different for many people. It’s tempting to dwell on traditions shelved and loved ones unseen, but East Coast Living editor Crystal Murray sees opportunity in the unusually quiet season.

“While these moments will be missed, there is a welcoming space that is also starting to take on its own shape,” she says. “In the art world this is referred to as ‘negative space,’ when the space around the object finds its own form. That absence can be just as beautiful as the object itself. For me this negative space is now being occupied by the things I would often wish that I had more time for.”

See her editorial in the latest issue.

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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