Advertisement

Coronavirus: N.S. limits public gatherings to 50 people as case numbers grow

Coronavirus outbreak: Nova Scotia limits public gatherings to 50 people as COVID-19 cases grow
WATCH: The Nova Scotia government has limited all public gatherings to no more than 50 people as the number of coronavirus cases in the province continues to grow. Jesse Thomas brings us that story.

The Nova Scotia government has limited all public gatherings to no more than 50 people as the number of coronavirus cases in the province continues to grow.

Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, announced two more presumptive cases of the virus on Tuesday, bringing the total number of positive tests to seven.

Strang says both cases are travel-related and connected to earlier cases.

“Public health has been in contact with these individuals and working to identify others who may have come in close contact with them,” the province said in a release. “Those individuals are also being directed to self-isolate at home, away from the public, for 14 days.”

READ MORE: 4 presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia, 1 confirmed

There are now six presumptive and one confirmed case of the virus in Nova Scotia. Presumptive cases are individuals who tested positive for coronavirus, but are awaiting official results from the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg.

Story continues below advertisement

At press briefing on Tuesday, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil announced the reduction of gatherings from a maximum of 150 people to 50. He also said restaurants will be take-out only and all drinking establishments will be closed.

Many restaurants in the Halifax area have been preparing for this decision. Grant Yetman, the owner of Wing’in it in Upper Tantallon, says they’re doing anything that can to stay open and keep their staff on as long as possible.

“It’s their livelihood,” said Yetman. “Some are single parents with children, only one income, others are students that are working trying to pay for their education.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

“My concern is trying to keep those people employed.”

From 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation locations will now be designated for the senior population and those with mobility issues. Stores will now operate under reduced hours, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday and closed on Sundays.

Effective Wednesday, Service Nova Scotia will close its access centres for a week. Online services will remain up and running.

McNeil said all the measures are being taken to ensure the safety of Nova Scotians.

Coronavirus outbreak: N.S. premier urges 14-day self-isolation upon return to province
Coronavirus outbreak: N.S. premier urges 14-day self-isolation upon return to province

The province announced three travel-related presumptive cases of coronavirus on Sunday. Those cases include:

Story continues below advertisement
  • A woman in her 60s from King’s County who recently returned from Australia
  • A man in his 50s in the Halifax Regional Municipality who recently returned from the United States
  • A man in his 30s in the Halifax Regional Municipality who travelled extensively in Europe

One of those cases has since been confirmed, although it’s not clear which one. Strang said they would not be disclosing where in order to protect patient privacy.

He worries that if they disclose exactly where each person lives, it would give a false sense of reassurance to those who don’t have a case in their community.

“Everybody, doesn’t matter where you live today, you’ve got to be prepared,” said Strang, “whether you have a case of COVID-19 in your community or not.

“If it’s not here today, it’s coming.”

On Monday, the province announced two more presumptive cases. Those cases include:

  • A man in his 50s from the Halifax Regional Municipality area who attended an “international event.”
  • A woman in her 50s from the Halifax Regional Municipality area who attended an “international event.”

All of the affected individuals are in self-isolation and recovering at home.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: ‘Worst’ St. Paddy’s Day ever as Halifax restaurants begin shutting down

The province said that as of Tuesday 934 tests have come back negative.

Story continues below advertisement