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Coronavirus: N.S. makes masks mandatory in indoor public places, no new cases Friday

Click to play video: 'Masks made mandatory in indoor public places in Nova Scotia' Masks made mandatory in indoor public places in Nova Scotia
WATCH: The announcement comes at a time when the province has had very few COVID-19 cases and the government admits it won’t be enforcing the new rules. Jeremy Keefe reports – Jul 24, 2020

It has now been nine days since a new case of the novel coronavirus was reported in Nova Scotia.

The province announced on Friday that no new cases of COVID-19 have been detected, and that masks will become mandatory in most indoor public places starting July 31.

There is currently only a single active case in the province. That means 1,003 people are considered to have recovered from the disease.

Read more: Nova Scotia reports no new coronavirus cases on Thursday

“As we open our economy, our schools and our communities, we must continue to be vigilant to minimize the impact of a second wave of COVID-19,” Premier McNeil said at a press briefing on Friday.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Nova Scotia restaurant patrons required to remain seated during dine-in visit' Coronavirus: Nova Scotia restaurant patrons required to remain seated during dine-in visit
Coronavirus: Nova Scotia restaurant patrons required to remain seated during dine-in visit – Jul 24, 2020

“Wearing a non-medical mask in most indoor public places is a key part of how we protect each other and support our local businesses so they can stay open for the long run.”

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According to the province, indoor public places include:

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  • Retail businesses.
  • Shopping centres.
  • Personal services businesses such as hair and nail salons, spas and body art facilities, except during services that require removing a mask.
  • Restaurants and bars, except while people are eating or drinking.
  • Places of worship or faith gatherings.
  • Places for cultural or entertainment services or activities such as movie theatres, concerts and other performances.
  • Places for sports and recreational activities such as a gym, pool or indoor tennis facility, except while doing an activity where a mask cannot be worn.
  • Places for events such as conferences and receptions.
  • Municipal or provincial government locations offering services to the public.
  • Common areas of tourist accommodations such as lobbies, elevators and hallways.
  • Common areas of office buildings such as lobbies, elevators and hallways, but not private offices.
  • Public areas of a university or college campus, such as a library or student union building, but not classrooms, labs, offices or residences.
  • Train or bus stations, ferry terminals and airports.
Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Nova Scotia announces mandatory use of non-medical face masks' Coronavirus: Nova Scotia announces mandatory use of non-medical face masks
Coronavirus: Nova Scotia announces mandatory use of non-medical face masks – Jul 24, 2020

The province said children under two are exempt, as well as children aged two to four when their caregiver cannot get them to wear a mask. People with a valid medical reason for not wearing a mask are also exempt.

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“Nova Scotians have made a habit of all the other core public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and now it’s time to also make a habit of wearing a non-medical mask in most indoor public settings,” said Nova Scotia chief medical officer Dr. Robert Strang, who was also at the press briefing.

“I have confidence that Nova Scotians will do the right thing and take care of each other by wearing masks in these settings.”

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: U.S. cases of COVID-19 pass 4 million' Coronavirus: U.S. cases of COVID-19 pass 4 million
Coronavirus: U.S. cases of COVID-19 pass 4 million – Jul 23, 2020

People are asked to use their own masks, but the province said it will help with initial supplies of masks for people who cannot bring their own.

The QEII Health Sciences Centre’s lab completed 677 tests on Thursday and continues to operate 24 hours a day.

There are no licensed long-term care homes in Nova Scotia with active cases of COVID-19.

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To date, Nova Scotia has reported 61,626 negative test results, 1,067 positive COVID-19 cases and 63 deaths. There is one active case.

Read more: Here’s what you’ll need to do to enter each province in the Atlantic bubble

There are no individuals in hospital with the virus.

The bubble permits interprovincial travel between Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador without self-isolation.

However, restrictions will be in place. You can learn what you need to do ahead of time for each province here.

 

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