Roundup: COVID hospitalizations soar, Perkins House finally reopening, Antigonish exploring district heating system, protecting kids from cyber violence

Dr. Robert Strang. Photo: CNS

Nova Scotia 943 known active cases of COVID-19, with 146 new cases reported in the latest government update. That likely isn’t an accurate picture, though.

“As reported April 30, due to the volume of testing in the province, the Nova Scotia Health Authority lab is experiencing a backlog,” says yesterday’s government press release. “There is also a delay in public health’s case data entry.”

In yesterday’s update, Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s medical officer of health, adds that workers have made “substantive progress” on clearing the testing backlog, and he expects them to be caught up today. “Later this week we will see the impact of provincewide restrictions,” he says. “And I anticipate case numbers will start to decrease.”

There are 40 people currently hospitalized with the disease, including six in ICU. So far, COVID-19 has killed 67 Nova Scotians and 24,342 Canadians.

Restoring a heritage treasure
Perkins House in Liverpool, closed since 2015 due to structural issues, is finally set to reopen in June. The Liverpool heritage property, which dates back to 1766, was once the home of civic leader and diarist Simeon Perkins and is one of 28 Nova Scotia Museum sites around the province.

The “house has been completely restored to its original state but they still have some landscape work that they will do when it gets warmer,” says David Freeman, president of the Queens County Historical Society (caretakers of the site).

Kevin McBain reports for LighthouseNow.

Antigonish exploring district heating system
The Town of Antigonish is proposing a partnership with St. Francis Xavier University to build an electric district heating system.

“We want to focus on reducing the emissions on the electric supply that we have,” says Mayor Laurie Boucher in an interview with Drake Lowthers from The Reporter. “We have our wind farm, now we’re investing in some solar gardens as well, and last year we started our heat pump program. All of these initiatives are aimed to reduce the carbon footprint in our community.”

Communities around Nova Scotia are looking at such systems as a way to shrink their carbon footprints and reduce reliance on Nova Scotia Power. Janet Whitman has more on that in this recent Halifax Magazine feature.

Protecting kids from cyber violence
Keeping kids safe from online harassment, exploitation, and bullying requires parents to have uncomfortable conversations.

Expert Fawn Logan-Young recalls when she facilitated a YWCA workshop. “Many parents and their children were having difficulty engaging in open, honest conversations about cyber violence experiences,” she says. “Parents wanted guidance … [but] many were unaware what their children were encountering.”

In her recent column for Our Children magazine, Logan-Young shares insights on what kids really encounter and how parents can help them.

Everyday Safety: Yard work
If you’ve ever done yard work, you’ve probably injured yourself in the process. If you were lucky, it was no worse than a muscle strain or bruise, but when you’re working with lawn mowers, weed wackers, and other common yard work tools, opportunities for injury abound.

“I think people are more safety-conscious at work than at home because there are various rules, procedures, equipment, and people like me there, whose job is to prevent injuries,” says safety expert James Golemiec. “At home we are on our own, but we still have projects to do.”

He offers advice to help you stay safe in his latest Halifax Magazine column.

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

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