Roundup: COVID stubbornly lingers, locals helping pollinators, affordable-housing developer calls for public money, centenarian feted for fundraising

A monarch caterpillar on a swamp milkweed plant. Photo: Kiva-Marie Belt

Nova Scotia has 20 known active cases of COVID-19, with two new (in the Central Zone) reported in the latest government update.

“Getting tested regularly allows us to detect cases early on and limit the spread of the virus,” Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, says in a press release. “Even if you don’t have symptoms, I encourage Nova Scotians to make a habit of dropping into a pop-up testing site or booking an appointment at one of the primary assessment centres.”

Nova Scotian labs completed 1,315 tests on March 21 and 280,360 since the second wave of the pandemic began in October. The latest immunization data wasn’t available at the time of posting; see it here when it’s available. An update with Strang and Premier Iain Rankin is scheduled to webcast at 11:45 a.m. today.

Source: Government of Canada (March 23)

COVID across Canada
The Canadian COVID-19 picture remains far less encouraging, with the federal government reporting 35,844 known active cases nationwide.

Ontario (14,751 known active cases), Quebec (6,755), and Alberta (6,176) remain Canada’s hardest-hit regions.

Infection rates reveal an even bleaker picture, particularly in Native communities. Overall, Canada has 94 known cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population. On First Nations reserves, that number climbs to 224 cases per 100,000 people. The rate in Nova Scotia is two per 100,000.

Affordable-housing developer wants government help
The developer behind a proposed affordable and accessible housing development on Cape Breton’s Isle Madame says the project won’t happen without government money.

“We’re looking to work with the public sector to make sure this project comes true,” says Rachelle Samson from SRD International. “If we had to install water and sewer ourselves and extend it to that property, we would … not be able to keep the rent low enough to offer it to the people who need it the most.”

It’s unclear how much money Samson seeks. Estimates for extending infrastructure to the site range from $590,000 to $760,000, while the municipality’s public works director says those numbers could be as much as 30% below the real price tag.

Jake Boudrot has more for The Reporter.

Kiva-Maria Belt

Support for pollinators blossoms
The Butterflyway Project is a cross-country effort to help pollinators by growing the plants they need most. When Pictou County’s Kiva-Maria Belt became a local organizer, she had modest expectations.

“I was expecting it to be difficult to get 12 people to participate,” she recalls. “But I had over 50 express interest. It’s just amazing. I accepted everyone who was interested; I didn’t want to turn anyone away.”

Learn more about the project and how you can help (even a single plant makes a difference) in this Raissa Tetanish story from The Light.

Centenarian raises $80,000 for VON
Joy Saunders, the Lunenburg woman whose fundraising walks raised $80,000 to Victorian Order of Nurses (VON), recently received the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, an award from the Governor General’s office.

Last year, the 102-year-old made good on her commitment to finish 102 walks of 0.8 kilometres each in her neighbourhood before her 102nd birthday. The first 20-minute jaunt was in May. Walk No. 102 came in September, as her six grandchildren and dozens of community supporters joined her.

“I’m a volunteer,” she says. “I was fortunate enough to be in a position to volunteer. I had a big family but I always had time to volunteer to different causes … Somebody had to do it, so I did it.”

Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

Photo: Anatta Tan/Bigstock

Lift with care
Lifting improperly is one of the most common causes of workplace and household injuries. And, as many folks abruptly transitioning to middle age learn, such injuries are perilously easy to experience.

“Every person has their own working load limit,” says health and safety columnist James Golemiec. “My brother, Kevin, found his working load limit a couple of months ago when he was lifting firewood. He is 50 years old and in reasonably good shape, but he went over his limit and ended up with a double hernia. He had surgery a couple of weeks ago and is recovering nicely.”

Learn the simple precautions you can take to avoid such injuries in Golemiec’s latest Halifax Magazine post.

Need to know
Know a community group, good cause, or inspiring local story we should share? Email the editor.

This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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