Roundup: COVID on the rise—many exposure warnings, concert for shooting victims, Desmond inquiry delays continue, Neptune’s Christmas classic returns

Don Mitchell getting the Silver Star from U.S. Gen. Mark Clark in February 1944.

Government officials identified three new cases of COVID-19 in the latest pandemic update, raising the total of known active cases in Nova Scotia to 20. The new cases are all in the Central Zone.

Premier Stephen McNeil. Photo: CNS

“I am concerned about the recent increase,” says Premier Stephen McNeil in a press release. “We all must continue to follow public health protocols, including social distancing, wearing a mask, proper hand hygiene, and limiting social contacts.”

Health officials have issued multiple public-exposure warnings this month for locations around the city, including: the Gahan House, Halifax Transit Route 59, Braemar Superstore, Fit4Less Bedford, Sobeys Clayton Park, the Canada Games Centre, the Bitter End, and BMO Soccer Centre.

“Contact tracing and testing are important components of public health during a pandemic,” says Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health for Nova Scotia. “As positive cases are investigated, public health may learn a person spent time in community settings—like a restaurant—while infectious or potentially infectious. If they are unsure that all contacts have been found, they use a public exposure notice to ensure everyone that may have been a close contact is aware.”

Strang and McNeil will provide an update at 3 p.m. on Nov. 9.

For the fallen
The Halifax Camerata Singers launch their season tomorrow with “Voices of Remembrance,” an online concert series paying homage to victims of various tragedies, including the Nova Scotia mass shootings, the recent Cyclone helicopter crash, the Snowbird crash, and others. The concerts will stream free until Dec. 31. Raissa Tetanish reports for Hub Now. See a free preview below.

Desmond Inquiry delays
The Lionel Desmond fatality inquiry—looking into the circumstances surrounding the soldier’s killing of his mother, wife, and daughter before taking his own life—has stalled again. The pandemic paused the inquiry in March. Organizers promised it would resume in May, but the families are still waiting.

“Now we’ve recently been told two things,” says lawyer Adam Rodgers. “One was that we were going to come back in November for four weeks of hearings. And then we were told that we wouldn’t be because there’s no venue ready… To keep pushing it back and not dedicating the proper resources to having it go ahead is a real issue.” Drake Lowthers has the story for The Reporter.

Don Mitchell, circa 1942.

Remembrance Day memories
In Halifax, Don Mitchell is usually remembered as an architect who built hospitals, universities, and theatres.

But before he helped shaped this city, Mitchell served valorously in the Second World War, part of an elite Canadian-American commando unit that brought the fight to Nazi-occupied Europe.

His son Greg recalls his stories. “He would take me back into the pitch of darkness, when he was on a patrol deep behind enemy lines,” he says. “He would sit there for an hour and walk me through what they saw and what they felt… I was there experiencing that with him in my mind’s eye. What I eventually began to feel was not the fear, but the skullduggery that was involved in what they had to do; the extreme patience and extreme discipline.”

He tells Ryan Van Horne about it in this Halifax Magazine Remembrance Day report, originally published November 2016.

Neptune’s Christmas classic returns
The one-man production of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol has become a rite of the season at Neptune Theatre. And despite the pandemic, it’ll return this year with both streaming and in-person performances.

“We’re very excited to be opening the theatre again for this fun family show,” says artistic director Jeremy Webb. “We’re keeping a close eye on the pandemic… We are following guidelines and protocols to keep everyone safe, but I do see this production as the first step in reopening the theatre.” The Pictou Advocate has more.

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This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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