Roundup: COVID count climbs + 2 ‘probable’ university cases, back-to-school concerns grow, knifed cop recovering, rain brings relief

Finn and Layton Reid. Photo: Candace Weaver

As of yesterday, Aug. 31, there are seven active cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia, according to the latest government update. One of the new cases is in the Eastern Zone. Officials say it’s related to travel outside Atlantic Canada and the person has been self-isolating as required. The other new case is in the Western Zone: a student attending Université Sainte-Anne. “More information will be shared about this case” today, says the government press release.

Officials are also reporting two university students with “probable cases” of COVID-19. The students, one at Dalhousie University and the other at Acadia University in Wolfville, have received “indeterminate test results.” Both students are from outside the Atlantic bubble and live off-campus.

“Indeterminate test results do not provide a negative or positive,” explains the government press release. “They may occur because someone previously had COVID-19 and the virus is still detectable in their system, or someone has been tested before the virus is fully detectable.” Officials say there will be further assessment and testing of those people, who are continuing to self-isolate.

So far, Nova Scotia has had 75,707 negative test results, 1,085 known COVID-19 cases, and 65 deaths. 

Layton Reid

Mortality, endings, and new beginnings
When Halifax photographer Layton Reid got a terminal cancer diagnosis, all he could think about was his infant son growing up without him. With the honesty and irreverence that made his work so distinctive, he set about archiving his life, leaving countless mementos, letters, and messages for young Finn. Friend and journalist Dakshana Bascaramurty documented his journey in her new book This is Not the End of Me.

“He wanted a real range of stories, not just ones that elevated him to sainthood but embarrassing stories or stories that show the full complexity of who he was,” she says. “He became committed to this idea that he wanted Finn to know who he was after he was gone… I think he so badly wanted to show his son not only who his father was, but to also see him as part of a flawed human being and to maybe get some understanding of who Finn was from seeing what his dad was like.”

In this new Halifax Magazine story, Bascaramurty tells Ameeta Vohra about the book and her remarkable friend’s legacy.

Back-to-school doubts
Kids around the province will be back in school soon and there are worries that government plans won’t keep students or workers safe. In a recent editorial, The Reporter in Port Hawkesbury summarizes the growing litany of concerns from teachers, nurses, parents, opposition politicians, and workers’ unions.

“There are many unanswered questions,” says the editorial. “There are many details left to iron out. There are many details which remain unexamined. And there is great uncertainty among teachers, staff, students, and parents.”

Knifed cop recovering
Sgt. Matt Bennett, the Bridgewater police officer who was knifed in the neck in July while responding to a domestic violence call, continues recuperating from his injuries. “He’s getting a little better every day,” says Bridgewater deputy police chief Danny MacPhee. “He’s definitely on the road to recovery.”

Bennett spent more than a week in hospital and underwent surgery. It’s unclear when he’ll return to duty. “It will totally depend on his recovery,” MacPhee says. “I know it’s definitely in his mindset and it’s in ours too… I have no fear he’ll recover from this because he’ll put his full effort into it. He has a no-quit attitude and he’s shown that every day at work here since I met him in 2007.” Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

Rain brings relief
A hot, dry August brought water worries around the province, but several hours of rain on the weekend has replenished the water table, allowing many communities to return to normal use. For example, The Pictou Advocate is reporting that Stellarton cancelled restrictions that had been in effect since Aug. 10. “Restrictions included sprinkling, watering, or irrigating… filling or topping of pools, washing of motor vehicles.”

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This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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