Roundup: Masks mandatory on transit, easing care home visitor rules, roadside cleanup crew goes to work, TataFest goes on

A Western Moose near Benjie's Lake, Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Photo:. Zack Metcalfe.

As of yesterday, July 19, Nova Scotia continues to have two active cases of COVID-19. Officials didn’t confirm any new cases on the weekend. Overall, Nova Scotia has had 59,789 negative test results, 1,067 positive confirmed cases, and 63 deaths.

Masks required for transit users
The Nova Scotia government announced on Friday that non-medical masks will be mandatory on public transportation, starting July 24. Children under two and people with a valid medical reason for not wearing a mask are exempt. (That post you saw on Facebook that claims that masks cut off your oxygen flow doesn’t count as a valid medical reason. —T.J.A.)

“Wearing a non-medical mask is important to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” says Dr. Robert Strang, the province’s chief medical officer of heath. “By making masks mandatory on public transportation, we are taking a first step in this priority environment as we continue to look at the epidemiology and mask use in different settings.”

More care home visits
Also on Friday, provincial officials announced they’re relaxing restrictions on visits to long-term care homes, effective July 22.

  • Both indoor and outdoor visits will be allowed with limited numbers of visitors and scheduled appointments. Residents and visitors must wear masks and observe physical distancing, except for limited physical contact like a hug.
  • Residents and staff can gather in groups of 10 or fewer for dining, recreation, or socializing without physical distancing. Groups should remain consistent and visitors cannot join.
  • Sightseeing bus trips for groups of up to 10 people (including residents, staff and driver) are allowed. Residents and staff cannot get off the bus, which must be thoroughly cleaned before and after each trip.
  • Licensed hair salons within long-term care homes can reopen to serve residents only.

Into the wild
This summer, Halifax Magazine environmental columnist Zack Metcalfe has embarked on a series of adventures, rediscovering Nova Scotia’s natural splendour. In the first instalment, he visits the Cape Breton Highlands and on a quiet morning in a fern-filled grove, has a long-awaited encounter with moose.

“Maybe they were just curious or the mother had become comfortable enough with this single, quiet primate,” he says. “Every five minutes or so she raised her enormous head to evaluate me, going back to grazing once I broke eye contact. The baby watched me too, at first staying close to its mother, but after a time it bounced enthusiastically through the ferns and became distracted. They continued to approach, and I continued to retreat.”

Photo: Raissa Tetanish

Cleaning up roadsides
Truro-area volunteers who have been working for seven weeks to clean up their community have seen the shocking amount of garbage that people leave along Nova Scotia’s roads: tires, paint cans, bottles of urine (filled and tossed by truckers), construction debris, fast-food packaging, coffee cups, and much more. The plastic waste is particularly harmful: it breaks down into smaller pieces that enter the food chain, killing animals.

Organizers are hoping others will join their efforts. “We all want to see change,” says volunteer Jessica Frenette, urging others to chip in. “This is our community.” Learn more about the Colchester Clean Up group in this Hub Now story by Raissa Tetanish.

TataFest returns this summer
Organizers plan to go ahead with this summer’s TataFest music festival in Tatamagouche. Running Aug. 28–29, the festival will feature four performances at the Grace Jollymore Joyce Arts Centre.

“If you look at the musical performances [scheduled] in the province right now, a solid half of those are in Tatamagouche,” says organizer Marshall Feit. “We are being cautious, careful, and mindful during the pandemic … We’re trying to save any sort of tourism in the village.” Raissa Tetanish reports for The Light.

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.

You have ? free views left this month!
Click HERE to login, or HERE to register.


Related Stories