COVID-19 Roundup: the first recoveries, Transit update, Halifax’s last pandemic

Caption: Halifax marketing agency Revolve has launched a social-media campaign to fight the spread of COVID-19.

An opinionated roundup of COVID news: must-read stories from across the Advocate Media network and sources around the world.

Numbers climbing, two recoveries, still no community spread
Some 68 Nova Scotians have now tested positive for COVID-19, according to the latest report from the provincial health department. “The cases are travel-related or connected to earlier reported cases,” says the press release. “Several of the new cases are connected to groups or families who have returned to Nova Scotia following travel outside of Canada. None of these cases are from spread within the community.” So far the province has had 2,772 negative tests and two people have recovered from the illness.

Update: The latest stats (1:20 p.m.) report 73 confirmed cases in Nova Scotia. “Most are travel-related or connected to earlier cases,” says the press release. “One of the new cases cannot currently be linked to travel or an earlier case. The investigation to determine the source of the exposure and whether any others may have been exposed is ongoing. At this point, public health cannot confirm that this case is linked to community spread.”

Halifax Transit worker tests positive
According to a press release this morning from HRM, a Halifax Transit worker in the Burnside Maintenance Department has tested positive for COVID-19. There’s no danger to transit users: “Based on an assessment of the circumstances, Public Health has indicated there is no risk to transit riders or the general public.” Health officials are contacting and testing anyone who was in close contact.

What happens to the homeless during a pandemic?
Shelters, food banks, and community-service organizations are more in-demand than ever, even as the pandemic plays havoc with their operations. Many groups are forging new community partnerships and finding creative ways to deliver their services. In this recent story from Hub Now, Raissa Tetanish looks at how the Truro Homeless Outreach Society has teamed up with a local church to offer its clients a place to go 24/7 during the pandemic. But like many organizations, they remain in desperate need of both money and volunteers. “One of the first things we saw was many volunteers step away,” says chairwoman Joan Keller.

Halifax’s last pandemic
A century ago, Halifax faced its last major pandemic. Some measures to fight the Spanish flu sound familiar (like a ban on social gatherings and avoiding “sneezers”), but they didn’t really understand how it spread, so nary a mention of handwashing. Dorothy Grant digs into the history files in this Halifax Magazine historical report

Spread the word
Local marketing agency Revolve has created the social-media campaign “Step Up. Not Out” to help fight the spread of COVID-19. A series of easily-shared images drive home the pandemic-fighting basics. “Wash your hands with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds,” says CEO Phil Otto on his blog. “Cough or sneeze into tissues or the inside of your elbow. Don’t touch your face. Stay at least six feet away from others. Stay patient and calm. Self-isolate whether or not you have symptoms. And most importantly, help us spread the message, not the virus.”

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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