Roundup: COVID count levels off, Stanfield’s cuts 150 workers, C.B. investigates housing needs, Bridgewater fundraising for new MRI

Nova Scotia has 35 known active cases of COVID-19, with one new case (in the Central Zone) reported in the latest government update. Two people are currently hospitalized in ICU with the disease.

Nova Scotia Health Authority labs completed 3,931 tests on Feb. 28 and 214,939 since the second wave of the pandemic began in October.

Premier Iain Rankin. Photo: CNS

“A record number of Nova Scotians took advantage of COVID-19 testing over the weekend,” Premier Iain Rankin says in a press release. “It’s a great response but it doesn’t mean we can let down our guard … Continue to follow all the public health measures, including keeping your social circles small and consistent.”

As of Feb. 28, Nova Scotia health-care workers have dispensed 32,856 doses of COVID-19 vaccine; 12,845 Nova Scotians have gotten the second dose that completes their immunization.

Job cuts at Stanfield’s
Clothing manufacturer Stanfield’s is laying off 150 workers after failing to land a federal contract to produce protective equipment for health-care workers.

Early in the pandemic, business watchers hailed the Truro company as a success story for its shift to PPE, which saw it hiring people as other businesses made cuts.

“By ignoring Atlantic Canada, I feel the federal government is letting them down,” says local MLA Dave Ritcey. “[It] paints a troubling picture about the focus on growing our rural economies.”

According to MP Lenore Zann, the federal government awarded the contested contract via a standard tender process, which is designed to prevent political interference.

Raissa Tetanish reports for Hub Now.

Carla Arsenault

Cape Breton investigates housing needs
Some 600 people have responded to a survey exploring housing needs in the Port Hawkesbury area.

“Housing needs and the economy go hand in hand,” says Carla Arsenault, president and CEO of the Cape Breton Partnership. “In order for Cape Breton companies to grow, we need to have adequate housing for workers … Current and future residents see this as an opportunity to not only address housing needs but to also grow their economy and welcome newcomers.”

Read more in The Reporter.

South Shore fundraising for medical equipment
A new Magnetic Resonance Imaging scanner is in the works for the Bridgewater hospital. The provincial government is arranging the purchase, but locals are funding it.

“Government will cover the construction, procurement, and installation of the new MRI scanner,” says a government press release. “The Health Services Foundation of the South Shore has launched a campaign to raise funds to buy the new piece of equipment.”

Gayle Wilson has details for LighthouseNow.

So you’re going to jail
You probably don’t expect to ever go to jail. But then, jails are full of people who never expected to be there.

One such person is Jefferey Brooks, who first went to jail at age 19 on charges of robbery and assault. He’s been in and out of the clink on a variety of charges ever since, but still chuckles at his naiveté when he served his first sentence.

“I had definitely seen too many movies,” he says. “I was afraid because I didn’t know what was going to happen, but at the same time, it was like, ‘if someone tries something with me, Imma fuck ’em up.'”

In this fascinating story from the Halifax Magazine archives, Chris Muise talks with prisoners and correctional workers about what it’s like to go to jail.

Spoiler: it’s considerably more banal and bureaucratic than Hollywood suggests.

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

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