Roundup: COVID grows—Atlantic bubble shrinks, MHL season in turmoil, Antigonish mayor concerned about students’ post-holiday return, Lunenburg Co. worker hurt on job

Yesterday, Nova Scotian health officials tallied another 11 cases of COVID-19, raising the provincial total to 51 known active cases. All 11 new cases are in the Central Zone: eight connected to previously reported cases, three under investigation.

Due to the recent surge in cases, government has brought in new gathering restrictions in metro Halifax Regional Municipality and parts of Hants County, which took effect yesterday.

Dr. Robert Strang. Photo: CNS

And then there were two
Yesterday the governments of P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador announced their decision to withdraw from the Atlantic bubble for at least two weeks, as Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, called on Nova Scotians to increase their vigilance.

“Today’s changes to the Atlantic bubble… [are] a stark reminder that we need to do all that we can to stop the spread of this virus,” he says in a press release. “COVID-19 has found its way back into our communities. It is the responsibility of all of us to move quickly and stop it from spreading further. Reduce your social circle and activities, and strictly follow public health measures.”

The next update with Strang and Premier Stephen McNeil streams at 3 p.m.

COVID upends hockey plans
The resurgence of COVID-19 and the shrinking of the Atlantic bubble are playing hob with the Maritime Junior Hockey League’s attempts to proceed with its season, with several games now postponed or rescheduled.

“The main priority of the MHL and its 12 teams continues to be… safety,” says league president Steve Dykeman. “We will continue to work with provincial governments and other stakeholders as the situation evolves. Our teams are important to the social and economic fabric of [their] communities.” The Pictou Advocate has more.

“The memoir is always there”
Like the rest of us, author Marjorie Simmins has been facing a year of turmoil. But she’s also coping with the June death of her husband Silver Donald Cameron. Since then she’s worked to promote his final book, Blood in the Water, and launch her latest, Memoir: Conversations and Craft.

Marjorie Simmins and Silver Donald Cameron. Photo: Facebook

“I’ve never had a book come out in a pandemic before,” Simmins says. “I thought if I just worked harder than usual, I’d achieve what I wanted. This book hasn’t had the fair shake I’d like to see it have—no launches, no events. Just Marjorie hollering on a hilltop in Cape Breton.”

Simmins believes that anyone who embraces the printed word will find value in her book. “It’s not just for somebody burning with memoir,” she says. “It’s for people who have respect for those writers, who want to know more about a genre that is ever changing… It’s for any reader who loves to read about life stories.” She tells me more about it in this recent Halifax Magazine story.

Antigonish braces for students’ return
St. Francis Xavier University is one of the few post-secondary schools in the province currently having regular in-person classes and Antigonish mayor Laurie Boucher is worried about what those students will bring with them when they return from their holiday break.

“Now when they’re coming in January, there’s a different set of circumstances,” she says. “The numbers are higher across Canada.” She adds that despite her concerns, she’s optimistic that the protocols that the pandemic-prevention protocols that largely worked in September “should work” again. Drake Lowthers has the story for The Reporter.

Lunenburg County worker hurt on the job
Officials are investigating but saying little after a worker was hurt on the job in Lunenburg County. The injury required an emergency airlift from Middle New Cornwall to hospital.

“No stop-work order has been issued at this time,” says labour department spokeswoman Shannon Kerr. “Our inspection is ongoing.” Keith Corcoran reports for Lighthouse Now.

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This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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