Gathering limits for sports and arts and culture venues in Nova Scotia have increased from 50 to 60, as COVID-19 cases in the province remain low.
It’s a continuation of a “cautious, deliberate approach” to containing COVID-19, Dr. Robert Strang, the province’s chief medical officer of health, said Friday.
In-person spectators and audiences are not allowed at sports games or art performances, but now a production team of up to 10 people can record, livestream or broadcast events, Strang said during a briefing. Those people have to stay distanced from anybody else in the facility.
“I know many in the arts and culture sector were worried about the impacts of our current restrictions, because they rely on audiences,” said Strang. “We continue to have discussions about potential solutions that are in line with our COVID safety and epidemiology.”
One new case
The province announced one new case of COVID-19 on Friday. The case is in the Eastern Zone and is related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada. The person has been self-isolating, as required.
There are now only nine active cases in the province, the first time since Oct. 30 that the caseload has hit single digits.
It’s unknown if any of the cases are the more contagious variants from the U.K. or South Africa. Strang said they are waiting to get results from the National Microbiology Laboratory, but he didn’t know how many samples were sent.
He said that in the meantime, added precautions like double-masking or wearing surgical masks are not necessary.
“Rather than worrying about changing the type of mask, make sure you’re wearing a two or three layer mask properly and wherever possible and certainly where required,” he said.
Vaccine rollout continues
The province has administered 14,589 doses of the vaccine, including 2,714 second doses, as of Friday.
With delays in supply of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 announced earlier this week, Strang said the rollout will hit a standstill before the province receives more vaccines next week.
The federal government announced earlier on Friday that there will be delays in getting the Moderna vaccine to Canada. In February, it means 20-25 per cent less product than originally planned.
Strang said he couldn’t comment on how the delay might affect the distribution plan in Nova Scotia, but Premier Stephen McNeil urged people to stay patient.
“We’ve had a pretty good run this week containing COVID. That is exactly what we need to continue to do as we’re waiting for the vaccine supply to be more consistent,” McNeil said.
The federal government is also cracking down on non-essential international travel. All flights to Caribbean destinations and Mexico are cancelled, starting Sunday and continuing until April 30.
It is now mandatory for travellers coming into Canada to get tested and quarantine at a hotel for three days, at their own expense, while waiting for their results.
Symptoms and testing
Anyone who is experiencing one of the following symptoms should complete an online self-assessment or call 811 to determine if they should be tested:
- New or worsening cough
Anyone with two or more of the following symptoms should also be assessed:
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Runny nose or nasal congestion
About the author
Sarah Moore is a journalist from Calgary who is working in Halifax.