From Monday, residents of the Halifax Regional Municipality will be restricted to five people meeting in an intimate social group without physical distance, which will be reduced from 10.
It was one of several new COVID-19 protection measures announced in Nova Scotia on Friday, as the health chief and chief medical officer expressed concern about children between the ages of 18 and 35 in the province.
“They go out when they’ll sick. They go out in large groups and apparently in different groups and not far away,” Stephen McNeil said Friday.
“They live as if COVID does not exist.”
The new collection limits apply to most of the Halifax Regional Municipality, which extends from Peggys Cove to Porter’s Lake. Part of the municipality from Porter’s Lake to Ekam Sec is excluded as the cases do not appear there.
Restrictions also include Enfield and Mount Uniake areas north of Halifax, but they do not apply to Elmsdale and the communities north there.
From November 23 at 12:01 a.m., through December 21, collection limits in those areas are as follows:
- Five people congregate in a close social group without physical distance, from 10.
- A house can have more than five members, but they can only go in groups of five outside the house.
- Homes can only have a maximum of five visitors at a time.
- On-site meetings at long-term care facilities will be reduced from a maximum of five (including residents and staff) to 10.
- Adult Day events are not allowed for seniors living in the community.
- For informal indoor and outdoor social events such as the Neighborhood Street Party 25 people, down to 50, can be gathered at a physical distance.
- Indoor events organized by a recognized business or organization can be reduced by 50 percent of the stage capacity from a maximum of 100 people with a physical distance of 200.
- Public events run by a recognized business or organization can range from 150 people to 250 people with a physical distance.
Five new cases Friday
Five new cases were identified Friday in the province’s central zone surrounding the Halifax area. Three cases are under investigation and one is closely related to the Auburn Drive High School case, while the other is linked to a previously reported case.
There are currently 28 active cases in Nova Scotia.
Dr. Robert Strong said that the community is now spreading in this province, “it continues and continues to grow.” About 10 to 12 of the current cases are linked to community spread, he said.
“Travel a few weeks ago led to our initial cases, which are now social activities, which are fanning the flame and the virus is spreading more widely,” Strong said Friday.
“This is a very Nova Scotian, a place that worries us all. I’m worried about the potential for this situation to snowball.”
McNeill said the province is in a critical phase.
“If we do not take action now, it will be too late. That is why we are taking a targeted approach in the Central Zone to keep the virus here and control the spread.”
Auburn Drive, Graham Creighton will be closed for 2 weeks
Auburn Drive High School in Cole Harbor and Graham Creighton Jr. High in Cherry Brook will be closed for two weeks as a deep clean and alert measure, after two cases at Auburn and one at Graham Creighton have been identified. Schools plan to reopen on December 7.
Students will go to a full online practice and computers will be provided as needed.
Bar staff on the Halifax Peninsula will undergo character tests for seven days, starting early next week. As of Monday, any restaurants or licensed establishments in the province must collect accurate contact information for each patron.
In the Halifax area, people cannot sit at a table with more than five people, which is effective Monday.
“You have employees to serve you, not the police. When you break protocols you are putting them at risk and very clearly not doing them or their family justice,” McNeill said.
New long-term care restrictions
New restrictions have been imposed on long-term care facilities in the province, starting at 12:01 a.m. Monday and continuing through December 21:
- Residents can leave their facilities only for medical and dental appointments.
- A registered designated guardian may take a resident for a car ride that sees a car, but they may not include extra passengers or stops for shopping, any kind of visits, or drive-thru.
- A facility can continue sightseeing excursions using their vehicles, but requires physical distance. Other passengers are not allowed in the vehicle and there are no stops, including the use of drive-thru.
Christmas ‘should be different this year’
Strong said he was worried about the Christmas season, which is often filled with large gatherings, parties and people in shopping malls.
“We have a reason to start with tough sanctions now. Like I said, we can take matters into our own hands and start getting closer to Christmas,” he said.
“People need to put this in their head now: Christmas or any other festive part of the holiday should be different this year … we should get the holiday by adhering to COVID security.”
Strong reiterated that people should not travel this Christmas season.
When it comes to holiday shopping, he said people need to wear a mask and if they go to a store that is full, they should go back when there are fewer people.
“Everyone needs to think, how much do I really need to go out? How many places do I have to go?” Said Strong.
Atlantic bubble cases
Most active exposure sites in the Halifax area are listed Here.
1,384 tests were completed Thursday at Nova Scotia labs.
To date, there have been 1,160 confirmed cases and 65 deaths related to the virus in Nova Scotia.
The latest figures around the Atlantic Bubble are:
- New Brunswick COVID-19 reported four new cases on Tuesday, bringing the number of active cases to 32.
- Newfoundland and Labrador Three new cases were reported on Friday and there are now 13 active cases in the province. One of the newly confirmed cases is a man between the ages of 20 and 29, an NL resident who recently returned to the province from Nova Scotia.
- PEI Finally a new case was reported on November 11.. There are three active cases in this province.
Anyone with any of the following symptoms should visit COVID-19 Self-assessment website Or call 811:
- The previous cough is coughing or worsening.
Anyone with the following two or more features may be asked to visit the website or call 811:
- Sore throat.
- Shortness of breath.
- Leaking nose.