Roundup: Just 17 known COVID cases, Truro brothers compete at Brier, new Tancook ferry for 2022, community art program expands

Brothers Evan (left) and Alex McDonah compete for Newfoundland at the Brier. Photo: Michael Burns/Curling Canada

Nova Scotia has 17 known active cases of COVID-19, with no new cases reported in the latest government update. One person is hospitalized in ICU with the disease.

“As we reflect on the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia, we can be proud of our efforts to slow the spread of the virus,” Premier Iain Rankin says in a press release. “This year has been far from easy, but Nova Scotians have stepped up and done their part by following the public health measures.”

Nova Scotian labs did 1,667 tests on March 14, and 266,616 since the second wave of the pandemic began in October.

As of March 14, Nova Scotian health officials have doled out 48,077 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, with 16,113 people getting the second shot that completes inoculation.

Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang are scheduled to webcast an update today at 3 p.m.

Source: Government of Canada

COVID-19 across Canada
The pandemic continues to simmer across the country. According to the latest federal figures, Canada has 31,630 known active cases of COVID-19. The hardest-hit areas are Ontario (12,528 known cases), Quebec (6,881), British Columbia (5,076), and Alberta (4,811).

Infection rates show more clearly how bad the situation remains in Western Canada. Overall, Canada has 83 known cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population, and Nova Scotia has just 2 per 100,000. But that number climbs to 110 in Saskatchewan, 109 in Alberta, and 99 in British Columbia. On First Nations reserves, the rate is 227.

So far, COVID-19 has killed 22,495 people across Canada, including 65 Nova Scotians.

Back to the boat
It’s hard to believe on a frigid March day, but it will soon be recreational boating season again. And even if you’re just canoeing or using a small rowboat, you can do a lot to ensure your safety (and obey the law), and you don’t need to buy a lot of gear.

“If your only way of communicating is by cellphone, seal it in a couple zipper bags,” recommends safety columnist James Golemeic. “Have water, snacks, and some cheap rain gear … Take a compass. (I once spent two hours on a lake in heavy fog, wishing I had brought one).”

Learn more in his latest Halifax Magazine post.

Curling with the best
Truro curlers and brothers Evan and Alex McDonah recently reached their sport’s national pinnacle, competing for Team Newfoundland and Labrador at the Brier, the annual tournament that crowns the Canadian men’s champion.

“Playing against all those teams was super cool,” says Alex. “I was the youngest competitor there. On the first day, I had my picture take with the oldest, or wisest, player (Glenn Howard) … He’s been there the most times. It was humbling to go and compete at that level.”

Their team finished 7th in its round-robin group, with a record of 2-6. Raissa Tetanish reports for Hub Now.

New Tancook ferry slated for 2022 delivery
The provincial government has picked the AF Theriault and Son shipyard in Digby County to build the new car ferry that will connect Big Tancook and Little Tancook islands to Blandford. The shipyard is getting $10.6 million, with government promising it will deliver the ferry by spring 2022.

The new ferry replaces the 40-year-old William G. Ernst, which sails from Chester and doesn’t carry motor vehicles. With the new ferry and route, government plans to increase the number of crossings from four to 11 daily, while cutting travel time from 50 to 30 minutes.

Keith Corcoran has details in this LighthouseNow story.

Pugwash ArtJam expands
The popular annual ArtJam event in Pugwash is getting bigger this year. Normally the event targets youth, but in 2021, it’s growing to include Writing on Fire, a six-week writing workshop for people aged 55 and older.

“With this theme, we thought it’d be great to have another generation in there with some common ground,” says organizer Norene Smiley.

See Raissa Tetanish’s story in The Light.

Reach out
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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