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Strang urges Nova Scotians to have ‘appropriate expectations’ ahead of reopening

Two days before the reopening of much of Nova Scotia’s economy, the province’s chief medical officer of health is urging those ready to get back to normal to have “appropriate expectations.”

“Your experience will be quite a bit different,” Dr. Robert Strang said at a press briefing Wednesday. “Whether you’re going to a restaurant, whether you’re going to a hair salon, whether you continue to go shopping, your experience will look different.”

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Last week, the province announced that many businesses that were forced to close under public health orders will be permitted to reopen on June 5 under new restrictions.

Those businesses include:

  • Dine-in/takeout restaurants and delivery
  • Bars/wineries/tap rooms
  • Barber shops/hair salons/spas/nail salons/tattoo parlours
  • Gyms/yoga studios

At restaurants, for example, Strang said tables will be farther apart and will be operating at reduced capacity. He said there will also be limitations to activities that can happen, including entertainment and dancing.

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Strang also said the rules around household bubbles and limitations to gathering sizes haven’t changed, so patrons won’t be allowed to sit at a table of 10 with those not in their bubble.

“We’re not yet ready to have people from multiple different households to come together (and) sit at a single table at a restaurant,” Strang said. “If you’re making plans to go out, you have to make sure … if you’re going to sit at the same table, (it’s) within your household or within your household bubble.”

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus outbreak: Pandemic forces Studio East restaurant in Halifax to close down' Coronavirus outbreak: Pandemic forces Studio East restaurant in Halifax to close down
Coronavirus outbreak: Pandemic forces Studio East restaurant in Halifax to close down – May 17, 2020

Strang said you’re welcome to go to different tables and say hello to each other, but he stressed that has to be done from six feet apart.

The chief public health officer also stressed the importance of following the new public health directives in place.

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“We’ve worked very hard with our business partners, with our community-based partners, all of whom are creating environments that will support the necessary public health requirements,” Strang continued.

“But at the end of the day there’s an obligation and a need for all Nova Scotians to participate and follow those public health requirements.”

5 active cases in Nova Scotia

There are still five active cases of the novel coronavirus in Nova Scotia after the province reported one new case and one new recovery on Wednesday.

The new case was identified in Nova Scotia’s eastern health zone. Strang confirmed the case is related to travel.

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The total number of cases identified by health zone is as follows:

  • Central: 907
  • Western: 54
  • Northern: 45
  • Eastern: 52
As of Wednesday, June 3, there are five active cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia Health Authority

 

Strang said there are currently three residents and two staff active cases at Northwood Manor in Halifax.

To date, Nova Scotia has 43,340 negative test results, 1,058 positive COVID-19 test results and 60 deaths.

Three individuals are currently in hospital, one of those in an intensive care unit. There were five in hospital and two in ICU on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Class action lawsuit filed against Northwood for handling of COVID-19 pandemic

During Wednesday’s press briefing, Strang said public health does not plan to report active cases any time soon as the number is “essentially zero” and there’s “nothing really robustly to add.”

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“If we get more activity then we might change that, but at this point in time in terms of all the things we need to do, putting more energy and effort into that was not something we felt was value added enough for Nova Scotians.”

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