Roundup: Reopening Phase 5 begins Sept. 15, shooting leads to attempted murder charge, bees inspire Pictou Co. woman, new Guysborough Co. marina coming

Premier Tim Houston (left) and Dr. Robert Strang. Photo: CNS

Most restrictions will end next week, as Nova Scotia moves into the final phase of its reopening plan, Premier Tim Houston and chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang announced yesterday.

“Today, our vaccination rate is about 72% of the overall population,” says Houston in yesterday’s media update. “And Dr. Strang and his team remain optimistic we reach our threshold rate of 75% by Sept. 15. So based on this outlook … we plan to move forward to Phase 5.”

Wearing masks will no longer be mandatory (except in schools, where the practice will continue until Sept. 20), but remains “strongly recommended” for indoor gatherings. Other public health precautions, like gathering limits and distancing, will also end. Businesses, health-care facilities, and other organizations can set their own policies.

“We must be mindful of the impact the fourth wave is having around the world and across the country,” says Houston. “We want to continue opening up our province and our lives in a way that protects Nova Scotians and minimizes the impact of the Delta variant and fourth wave.”

Starting Oct. 4, Nova Scotia will require a vaccination passport (although government officials aren’t calling it that) for non-essential, discretionary, recreation, and leisure services—such as going to a hockey game, eating in a restaurant, or attending a yoga class. Children too young for vaccination (under age 12) are exempt.

Border screening and self-isolation for travellers continues, with some changes. International travellers will no longer have to fill out the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in form, the isolation requirement for unvaccinated domestic travellers changes from 14 days to a minimum seven days. People who are identified as close contacts of COVID-19 cases but are fully vaccinated don’t need to self-isolate in most cases.

Nova Scotia currently has 61 known active cases of COVID-19, with 14 new cases and 11 recoveries reported yesterday. Nine of the cases are in the Northern Zone (all close contacts of previously reported cases), three are in the Central Zone (two travel-related, one under investigation), one is in the Western Zone (under investigation), and one is in the Eastern Zone (close contact). All are close contacts of previously reported cases.

Over the course of the pandemic, the disease has killed 27,106 people in Canada, including 94 Nova Scotians.

We’koqma’q man faces attempted murder charge
Police have charged a Cape Breton man with attempted murder after a Sept. 6 shooting in Egypt Falls that sent the victim to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

“Police learned that the man had been in a disagreement with two other men prior to being shot,” says an RCMP press release, adding that police arrested the suspects without incident shortly after the attack.

Donald Joseph Googoo, 35, of We’koqma’q First Nation appeared in Port Hawkesbury Provincial Court on Sept. 7 to answer a charge of attempted murder, and was remanded into custody. He’s scheduled to be back in court on Sept. 9. A second suspect was released uncharged.

The Reporter has details.

Bev Priestman

More than gold
Winning at the women’s soccer gold at the recent Tokyo Olympics is a thrill for Team Canada, of course, but head coach Bev Priestman is most excited about what it’s going to mean for the sport in Halifax and across the country.

“For young kids, they’ve dreamt of moments, and the bronze brought a bit of that to life now, they can dream of being the Olympic champion,” she tells Halifax Magazine in a recent press conference. “For the players, the belief that I felt was missing when I took over is now there. We’ve got to build and capitalize on that.”

The next step is to keep building interest in the sport, particularly after the glow of the Olympics fades.

“There’ll be people who step forward in this country to set beyond a talent system, like an actual professional pathway,” Priestman says. ” Being able to go and watch your heroes play week in, week out, will be critical for the growth of the game.”

Ameeta Vohra reports.

New Guysborough County marina coming
Work is underway on the Salsman Marina Park project in Country Harbour, with plans to open the 12-berth marina this fall.

Municipal Warden Vernon Pitts is excited about the development. “You have Salsman Provincial Park there, plus you have Tate’s campground up the road, you have a couple of stores,” he says. “I think it is going to be good for everyone.”

LighthouseNow has more.

Photo: Steve Goodwin

Bees bring inspiration
Vital pollinators, bees plays a key role in our environment, helping plants of all sorts to reproduce. They’ve always fascinated Marie Lennox, who manages West River Greenhouses, in Pictou County, and now she’s on a mission to help people better understand, foster, and protect the insects, who are under siege from pollution, pesticides, and habitat loss.

She’d like everyone to see their beauty.

“You could sit and watch them all day,” she says. “They just do their thing. I’ve seen probably 10 different varieties of bees … I have definitely seen quite a bit of activity this season, compared to the last couple of years.”

See Steve Goodwin’s story in The Pictou Advocate.

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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