Nova Scotia to allow 10-person gatherings as no new coronavirus cases announced Friday

Nova Scotia health officials will offer an update on the province's plan to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nova Scotia is expanding its limits on gatherings under its coronavirus restrictions to 10 or more people, Premier Stephen McNeil announced on Friday.

“Nova Scotians have done the hard work to flatten our curve and with that, we will soon be getting back to work, eating in restaurants, getting back to the gym and getting haircuts,” said McNeil.

“This next step to allow people to gather in slightly larger groups is good for our mental health and well-being.”

The new limit of 10 people is effective immediately but requires that Nova Scotians comply with physical distancing of at least two metres. The physical-distancing measure does not apply to those in the same household or household bubble.

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The limit is the same for all indoor and outdoor locations except for outdoor weddings and funeral services.

The news comes as the province reported no new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, the first time it has done that since March.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in the province remains at 1,055. The last time no cases were reported was on March 15.

Other steps announced on Friday include:

  • Private campgrounds are open to all types of campers on June 5 but they are only allowed to operate at 50 per cent
  • Provincial campgrounds will open to Nova Scotians on June 15, with the reservation line opening on June 8. Campgrounds must ensure a minimum of 20 feet between
  • Pools can start maintenance work to prepare for
  • Sleepover camps will not be permitted this
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No deaths were reported on Friday, which means Nova Scotia remains at 59 deaths as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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There are 18 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 14 of which are the result of an outbreak at Northwood Manor in Halifax.

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Of the 14 active cases at Northwood — the only long-term-care home with any active cases — 10 people are residents and four are staff members.

Nova Scotia is reporting that eight people remain in hospital, three of whom are in intensive care.

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The QEII Health Sciences Centre’s microbiology lab completed 1,034 tests on Thursday and is operating 24 hours a day.

People are being encouraged to visit Nova Scotia’s 811 website to determine if they should call 811 for further assessment. Symptoms of the coronavirus include:

  • Fever (i.e. chills, sweats)
  • Cough or worsening of a previous cough
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle aches
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion/runny nose
  • Hoarse voice
  • Diarrhea
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Red, purple or blueish lesions on the feet, toes or fingers without clear cause

The province has also announced its plan to extended its state of emergency. It will be extended to June 14.

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.

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For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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