Roundup: COVID count dips—2 school cases, attempted murder charge after Truro stabbing, no new EHS vehicles for Strait area, Percy Sacobie escapes through his art

"Highways" by Percy Sacobie.

Nova Scotia has 88 known active cases of COVID-19, with four new cases (all in the Central Zone) identified in the latest government update.

“I am pleased to see the decline in new cases this weekend,” Premier Stephen McNeil says in the press release. “It reflects Nova Scotians’ commitment to following public health measures and doing their part to help slow the spread of COVID-19… I want to encourage everyone to remain vigilant and continue our progress in containing the virus.”

Premier Stephen McNeil. Photo: CNS

Nova Scotia Health Authority labs did 1,171 tests on Dec. 5; yesterday there were 394 tests at a rapid-testing pop-up site in Halifax, yielding no positive results.

2 more school cases
Public health officials also announced two new cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotian schools: at Ian Forsyth Elementary School in Dartmouth and at Berwick and District School in Western Zone.

Both schools will be closed until Dec. 10 for what government press releases confusingly call a “deep cleaning.”

In a press conference on Dec. 4, Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, explained there is no difference between a “deep cleaning” and the way schools are normally cleaned.

Nova Institute for Women inmate charged after stabbing
An inmate at the Nova Institute for Women in Truro faces an attempted murder charge after a stabbing on Dec. 5. The 31-year-old woman also faces weapons charges. Police say a 39-year-old woman was stabbed multiple times and treated in hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. Hub Now reports.

No new EHS vehicles for Strait area
Earlier this fall, Guysborough Warden Vernon Pitts called for Emergency Health Services to devote more resources to the Canso Strait area, after a seven-hour delay transporting a patient with appendicitis turned what should have been a routine procedure into a life-threatening ordeal.

But the region won’t be getting any more EHS vehicles and was recently excluded from a pilot project that could’ve brought vans for “non-clinical transportation” to the area.

“This region has many communities and residents located far from… the closest health care facility,” says an editorial in The Reporter. “With a high segment of the population over the age of 65, the need is acute.” Read more.

Leon Trotsky

Delayed on the way to destiny
The First World War was in full swing when infamous Bolshevik firebrand Leon Trotsky arrived in Halifax in March 1917.

With wartime paranoia raging, local authorities quickly interned Trotsky, even though he’d broken no laws and had no plans to stay in Nova Scotia; he was passing through on his way home to Russia.

They sent him to a POW camp in Amherst, but were soon eager to be rid of him as he busied himself proselytizing to the other prisoners. “He gave us a lot of trouble at the camp,” said one of the commanding officers. “If he had stayed much longer… he would have made communists of all the German prisoners.”

Bob Gordon looks back at the strange episode in this reader-favourite story from the free Halifax Magazine archives.

Barb and Percy Sacobie

Percy Sacobie escapes through art
Maliseet artist Percy Sacobie hasn’t had an easy life. All four of his siblings died tragically: one by murder, one by overdose, two by suicide. Yet his paintings are a riot of colour and energy, not offering a hint of the pain he carries.

“My artwork is my time alone,” he explains. “The last thing I want to do is put depression into my painting… I could focus on all the bad stuff, or I could focus on some good.” He tells Robyn McNeil about it in this new East Coast Living interview.

Need to know
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This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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