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Premier Stephen McNeil, Dr. Robert Strang urge Nova Scotians to follow restrictions ahead of Halloween

Click to play video 'Stay the Blazes Home book launch' Stay the Blazes Home book launch
We chat with local photographer and author Len Wagg to get more info on his new book Stay the Blazes Home. Through dozens of powerful stories that illuminate the generosity and ingenuity of Nova Scotians, Stay the Blazes Home captures the many ways Nova Scotians adapted to and embraced life during the COVID-19 pandemic – Oct 28, 2020

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, the province’s top doctor, reiterated on Wednesday that COVID-19 restrictions should be followed this Halloween even with relatively low case counts in the province.

It’s been two weeks since McNeil and Strang provided an update to Nova Scotians and in that time period, only 10 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported.

Many have been related to travel outside of the Atlantic bubble or are a close contact with one of those who travelled outside the bubble.

Read more: Nova Scotia chief of health advises safe trick-or-treating and small parties for Halloween

Strang said it’s important for residents to be conscious that their decisions can change the trajectory of this pandemic.

Ahead of Halloween on Saturday, Strang said it’s important that Nova Scotians adhere to gathering limits and celebrate with a consistent group of 10.

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The gathering limit without physical distancing remains 10 in Nova Scotia, whether in public or at a house party, or 50 for community events with physical distancing both indoors and outdoors.

Events organized by “recognized businesses” can host half of a venue’s capacity up to 200 people indoors, and 250 people outdoors. A physical distance must be maintained from people outside of each close social group of 10, according to the release.

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Trick-or-treating is allowed, Strang said, but stressed that the rules laid out on the province’s website must be followed.

Online testing

McNeil also discussed an online booking system for COVID-19 testing that was announced earlier on Wednesday.

Online booking is available for anyone going through a primary assessment centre in Nova Scotia’s Central Zone, which includes the Halifax Regional Municipality, Eastern Shore and West Hants.

Read more: Survey finds majority of Canadians were confident they could self-isolate, distance for six months

“Allowing people to book their own COVID-19 test will significantly reduce the wait time from when someone first starts experiencing symptoms, to the time they receive their test results,” McNeil said in a press release. “With the new process, it should only take 10 minutes to book an appointment.”

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According to the province, online booking is expected to be available in the Northern, Western and Eastern Zones by the second week of November.

No new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday

On Wednesday Nova Scotia announced no new cases of the coronavirus and a single additional recovery, meaning there are now five active cases in the province.

During the pandemic, Nova Scotia has recorded 1,102 COVID-19 cases, of which 1,032 are considered resolved.

There have been 65 COVID-19-related deaths.

The province recommends Nova Scotians visit the province’s self-assessment website if, in the past 48 hours, they have had or are currently experiencing:

  • Fever (i.e. chills/sweats)
  • Cough (new or worsening)
Click to play video 'A tale of two cities: Canadians who cross border every day' A tale of two cities: Canadians who cross border every day
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Or if an individual has two or more of the following symptoms:

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  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose/nasal congestion
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath

The update will be streamed live on Globalnews.ca. It’s set to begin at 12:15 p.m.