Roundup: Vaccination update, ticks a year-round danger, Municipality of District Lunenburg now debt free, C.B. ringette builder inducted into Canadian hall of fame

Allan Bundy (centre). Photo: Jim Bates

Plus: When Dartmouth’s Allan Bundy wanted to serve his country during the Second World War, he first had to overcome racism here at home

More Nova Scotians will be eligible to get COVID-19 vaccination booster doses by the end of November, the provincial government announced on Friday.

“As we prepare to offer booster doses, our first priority will continue to be encouraging people who have one or no doses of COVID vaccine to get vaccinated,” Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, says in a press release. “Boosters may provide an added level of protection, but the best way to reduce the spread of the virus is to ensure that everyone has at least two doses of vaccine.”

Groups who will be eligible for a booster dose in Nova Scotia include:

  • Anyone 80 and older, followed by anyone age 70 to 79,
  • Frontline health-care workers who were double vaccinated with an interval of less than 28 days between their first and second doses,
  • People who received two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine or one dose of the Janssen vaccine.

Most government workers complying with vax order
Provincial statistics released on Friday show that the majority of Nova Scotia’s 80,000 government workers are complying with the mandate to vaccinate against COVID.

Under the mandate, provincial civil servants must have at least a first dose of vaccine by Nov. 30, with a requirement to show proof of full vaccination 70 days later. Those who are partially vaccinated may be subjected to other health and safety measures, including testing. Those who do not have a first dose by Nov. 30 will go on unpaid administrative leave.

As of Nov. 4, most affected workers have shown proof of vaccination:

  • Nova Scotia Health Authority: 91 per cent,
  • IWK Health Centre: 99 per cent,
  • Long-term care: 93 per cent,
  • Home care: 89 per cent,
  • Education: 97 per cent,
  • Emergency Health Services: 99 per cent.

Vaccinations reduce death, serious illness
The latest public health statistics underscore how effective COVID vaccination is at reducing death and serious illness from the disease.

There were 110 known active cases from Oct. 28 to Nov. 3:

  • 34 (30.9 per cent) were fully vaccinated,
  • Seven (6.4 per cent) were partially vaccinated,
  • 69 (62.7 per cent) were unvaccinated.

There were 5,833 known cases from March 15 to Nov. 3:

  • 406 (7.0 per cent) were fully vaccinated,
  • 371 (6.3 per cent) were partially vaccinated,
  • 5,056 (86.7 per cent) were unvaccinated.

During that period, there were 308 people hospitalized:

  • 14 (4.5 per cent) were fully vaccinated,
  • 31 (10.1 per cent) were partially vaccinated,
  • 263 (85.4 per cent) were unvaccinated.

Thirty-five people died:

  • Four (11.4 per cent) were fully vaccinated,
  • Three (8.6 per cent) were partially vaccinated,
  • 28 (80.0 per cent) were unvaccinated.

About 77.3% of Nova Scotians are fully vaccinated.

District Lunenburg now debt free
The Municipality of the District of Lunenburg recently made the final payment on an infrastructure loan it secured 16 years ago, making the municipality debt-free.

“The decision to invest in infrastructure was made in 2005 by the council of the day. It was an excellent decision contributing to significant growth in the area,” says Mayor Carolyn Bolivar-Getson.

The $3.64-million loan was intended to spur development in Osprey Village in Cookville by funding water and waste water services. The commercial properties in that area now have a total assessed value of $31 million.

Lunenburg joins Pictou as Nova Scotia’s only debt free counties.

Gayle Wilson reports for LighthouseNow.

Clarification: An earlier version of this post did not specify that it refers to the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg. We regret any confusion.

Allan Bundy

Soaring above racism
Dartmouth’s Allan Bundy was a dedicated student and gifted athlete with a keen interest in aviation when the Second World War broke out.

The Royal Canadian Air Force seemed the ideal way to serve his country, but they only wanted white pilots.

As the war dragged on and the casualties mounted, they changed their minds, deciding Bundy was fit to serve after all. In October 1943, he became Canada’s first Black flying officer, making headlines across the continent.

The racism didn’t end, but through crashes and combat, he persevered, sinking two enemy ships on his first mission, and serving honourably throughout the war.

In this archive story, Dorothy Grant looks back at his remarkable career.

Ticks a year-round danger
Ticks were once a warm-weather scourge, but thanks to climate change, they’re now a problem year-round.

“Over the fall and winter months the adult ticks that have a high chance of carrying infection are actively seeking a host,” cautions Brenda Sterling-Goodwin, a long-time advocate for people living with Lyme disease. “It has been said that in highly endemic areas about 40 to 60 per cent of the blacklegged ticks harbour the bacteria that causes Lyme disease and who knows what other co-infections they may be carrying.”

Read more in The Pictou Advocate.

Alayne Martell. Photo: Ringette Canada

Cape Breton ringette booster posthumously feted
Alayne Martell, from St. Peter’s, spent 22 years working to grow and develop the sport of ringette, sharing and promoting its stories as head of public relations for ringette Canada.

When cancer took her life in November 2020, it was a blow to the sport.

“Few have such skills and expertise,” says a statement from Ringette Canada. “(Martell) excelled in a space where many would not even attempt to dabble in and brought ringette to the forefront of present-day mainstream media on a local, national, and international level.”

Drake Lowthers has the story for The Reporter.

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