Roundup: Teddy bears down, probable COVID case, 5 StFX students face charges for breaking health rules, climate change and your health

Waves from Hurricane Teddy hit Bermuda. Photo: Via Facebook

Hurricane Teddy continues to bear down on Nova Scotia, with the latest projections forecasting it will make landfall on the Eastern Shore. It will likely be a tropical storm by the time it arrives but will still pack a wallop.

“Winds will strengthen over the coast of Nova Scotia today as Teddy approaches from the south,” says the latest Environment Canada warning. “Winds will reach warning criteria over the Atlantic and lower Fundy coasts of mainland Nova Scotia on this afternoon, and over eastern Cape Breton this evening. Late this evening and [overnight], winds will shift to southeasterly and diminish somewhat over eastern Nova Scotia before strengthening again overnight and Wednesday morning as Teddy crosses the province. Winds will remain near warning criteria over western mainland Nova Scotia through the night as they shift to northwesterly.”

Conditions can change rapidly—monitor local forecasts.

Graphic: Canadian Hurricane Centre

Probable COVID case in N.S.
Nova Scotia has one “probable” case of COVID-19, according to the latest update from the provincial government. A Dalhousie University student who recently returned from travel outside the Atlantic Bubble and lives off-campus has received “indeterminate test results.” Officials say the person has been self-isolating as required.

“Indeterminate test results… may occur because someone previously had COVID-19 and the virus is still detectable in their system, or someone has been tested before the virus is fully detectable,” explains the government press release. “Since probable cases are not confirmed to be positive, they are not included in the total number of positive cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia.”

So far, Nova Scotia has had 87,928 negative test results, 1,086 known COVID-19 cases, and 65 deaths.

Letting immigrants vote
In last week’s forum for mayoral candidates, incumbent Mike Savage repeated his call for the provincial government to let landed immigrants vote in municipal elections.

Jennifer Watts

“We have people that come to the city, who are employed, who own businesses, whose kids are in school, and they access our health care system,” he says. “They are citizens of every regard except they can’t vote in municipal elections… We need the province to allow us to do that.”

Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) CEO Jennifer Watts supports the idea. “It would be an amazing and significant recognition to people who are immigrants…to be able to have a vote in an election at the municipal level where there are things that directly impact them, their families and their extended community,” Watts says. Ameeta Vohra has more in this new Halifax Magazine story.

Five StFX students face charges for health violations
Police in Antigonish had a busy weekend responding to complaints about gatherings and house parties, as five students from St. Francis Xavier University face charges for breaking public-health rules.

“These are not acceptable behaviours in these times of the pandemic,” says RCMP Sgt. Warren McBeath. “Police want the community to know they will continue to take enforcement measures to stop this behaviour.” Several students also face charges for noise and liquor violations. Jake Boudrot has details in The Reporter.

Climate change and your health
As climate change and the planet-wide environmental crisis continues, there is growing awareness of its immediate impacts on factors that directly affect our health. But politicians still focus too much on the short term, overlooking the bigger-picture implications.

“Climate change affects… poverty levels, clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food, and secure shelter,” says Dr. Jock Murray and Janet Murray. “It will also affect the economy… and the ability to sustain a robust health care system.” Explore the issue in this column from The Pictou Advocate.

Seven hours on hold for 811
Since the pandemic began, public health officials have urged people to call 811 for COVID-19 screening and information. Since school resumed this month, many people are reporting long wait times for 811.

“I was on hold for almost seven hours off and on when I had symptoms of COVID,” says 74-year-old Jane Moody. “As a serious asthmatic… I was extremely upset. Fortunately, my symptoms were not respiratory. For anyone with serious respiratory symptoms this wait time could be life-threatening. And no one is doing anything about it.” Gayle Wilson reports for LighthouseNow.

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This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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