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N.S. recruiting Canadians to move to the province to work from home – CBC.ca

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Like so many people these days, Ian Yule is working from home, but his home has changed. For 14 years he’s been a product engineer for a company that makes software for computerized mapping in California. Now he’s doing the same job in Nova Scotia. 

“It’s different, but there’s definitely a quality of life here that probably a lot of people don’t realize is as high as it is,” he said from his newly rented apartment in Kentville, N.S. 

A recognition of that quality of life is exactly what the Nova Scotia government is banking on. 

Together with Tourism Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia Business Inc., the province’s economic development agency, it has launched a campaign targeting other Canadians to move to Nova Scotia. Tourism-style video ads showcase the province’s beaches and coastal beauty with the tagline, “If you can do your job from anywhere, do it from here.”

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The campaign, which launched on Dec. 14, has been displayed in every other province and territory. The people behind it say it has been seen on 141 million computer screens so far, predominantly in Montreal, Toronto, Quebec City and Calgary.  

The goal is to bring 15,000 people to Nova Scotia within one year. 

Laurel Broten, president and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc., says the province is taking advantage of the silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic, the understanding that you “don’t necessarily need to be sitting in an office to be productive,” and trying to attract skilled workers who couldn’t otherwise work from Nova Scotia. 

She says population growth is a key component of economic growth and the province wants to expand its taxation base, have more people consuming goods, going to restaurants and buying houses. 

“Bring your job and come here to Nova Scotia and do that job from here sitting on the edge of the ocean, if you want,” she said in an interview in her downtown Halifax office. 

Broten, who moved to Nova Scotia herself in 2013, isn’t working from home because low COVID-19 numbers in the province mean many businesses and offices are open. There are currently only eight cases in the entire province. 

The future of work

Still, John Trougakos, professor of organizational behaviour and human resource management at the University of Toronto, calls the government’s plan “ambitious.” 

Trougakos has studied the future of work and says the key to Nova Scotia’s success might be whether the idea of working from home becomes permanent. Despite some data that suggests it will, Trougakos is not convinced. 

“I think we’re kind of getting to the point where there is a level of fatigue with this working from home,” he said. “I see a hybrid work system kind of being the way of the future where employees will go in two or three days to the office and have two or three days at home.”  

Laurel Broten, president and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc., says the province is trying to attract skilled workers who couldn’t otherwise work from Nova Scotia. (Nova Scotia Business Inc.)

Potential problems

The pandemic has also exposed problems with reliable internet connections in parts of rural Nova Scotia, which could be a problem for those trying to work from home. Broten said the province is working on developing infrastructure with a goal of 99 per cent coverage by 2022.  

Others have raised concerns about what could happen if the plan does work; how an influx of people could affect things such as affordable housing and a shortage of doctors. 

Yule, who has been in the province since September, said he struggled to find an apartment, and still hasn’t found a doctor, but he generally supports the idea of trying to grow the population, as long as it’s done with careful planning and consideration. 

“It’s like a provincial gentrification in a way, that you might see, and there are negative sides to gentrification that we need to be ready for.”

He said he thinks he’ll work from home in Nova Scotia for at least two years. He already knows he has the option of making it a permanent move if he so chooses. 

Broten said it’s OK if he and others who might move to Nova Scotia don’t stay forever, and that attracting highly skilled people, even for a short time, is better than not at all.  

Yule said he supports the idea of trying to grow the population, as long as it’s done with careful planning and consideration. (Eric Woolliscroft/CBC)

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Ontario reports 1,631 new COVID cases Monday – SooToday

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Public Health Ontario has reported 1,631 new cases of COVID-19 today (March 8).

Today’s report includes 994 recoveries and 10 new deaths, none were long-term care residents.

The deaths reported today include five people between 60 and 79 years old, and five people aged 80 or older.

The province has reported 51 new hospitalizations since yesterday, and seven new admissions of COVID-19 patients to intensive care units.

The March 8 update provided by the province’s public health agency also reported the following data:

  • 11,016 active cases, which is up from 10,389 yesterday
  • 626 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Ontario, up from 606 reported yesterday. 
  • There are 282 COVID patients in intensive care units (up from 273) and 184 COVID patients on ventilators (up from 179 reported yesterday)
  • 38,063 tests were processed yesterday resulting in a 3.4 per cent positivity rate.
  • Another 13,891 tests are still under investigation and/or being processed. To date, 11.4 million tests have been completed.
  • Of the 1,631 new cases reported today, 568 are from Toronto, 322 cases are from Peel, 119 are from York Region, and 48 are from Simcoe-Muskoka
  • There are 79 active outbreaks at long-term care homes, 59 at retirement homes, and 20 at hospitals. 
  • The new cases reported today include 321 individuals aged 19 and under, 596 people between 20 and 39 years old, 447 people between 40 and 59 years old, 224 people between 60 and 79 years old, and 47 people aged 80 and over.

Variants of concern reported by Public Health Ontario

  • 879  lab-confirmed cases of the UK variant strain of COVID-19 (B.1.1.7). 
  • 39 cases of B.1.351 (also known as the South African variant).
  • 17 cases of P.1, which is the variant strain that originated in Brazil. 
  • According to Public Health Ontario, there are delays between specimen collection and the testing required to confirm a variant of concern. As such, the reports can change and can differ from past case counts publicly reported.

Vaccines

  • There were 21,882 doses of vaccines against COVID-19 administered on March 7, which is down from 30,192 administered on Mar. 6. 
  • As of 8 p.m. on March 7, the province reported 912,486 doses of vaccine against COVID-19 have been administered.
  • In total, 273,676 people have been fully vaccinated.

Public Health Ontario has confirmed 309,927 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, and reported 290,840 recoveries and 7,077 deaths, of which 3,876 were individuals living in long-term care homes.

The cumulative average incidence rate in the province is 2,085 cases per 100,000 people in Ontario.

The weekly incidence rate in Ontario is 50.7 cases per 100,000 people, which is a decrease of 1.6 per cent from last week (Feb. 20-26). 

In Northern Ontario, the breakdown of Public Health Ontario data is:

  • Algoma Public Health: 200 cases, rate of 174.8 per 100,000 people. There are five known active cases. The region is in the yellow – protect zone.
  • North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit: 266 cases, rate of 205 per 100,000 people. The health unit has reported 269 cases. There are six known active cases. There are two confirmed cases of the United Kingdom (B.1.1.7) variant, and 16 confirmed cases of the South African (B.1.351) variant of concern. The region is in the red – control zone.
  • Porcupine Health Unit: 342 cases, rate of 409.9 per 100,000 people. There are seven known active cases. The region is in the orange – restrict zone.
  • Public Health Sudbury and Districts: 791 cases, rate of 397.4per 100,000 people. The health unit has reported 784 cases. There are 181 known active cases. There are three confirmed variants of concern (VOC) cases, both are the UK (B.1.1.7) strain. The region is in the red zone.
  • Timiskaming Health Unit: 104 cases, rate of 318.1 per 100,000 people. The health unit has reported 106 cases. There are 12 known active cases. There is one confirmed case of the South African (B.1.351) variant of concern. The region is in the orange – restrict zone.
  • Northwestern Health Unit: 514 cases, rate of 586.3 per 100,000 people. The health unit has reported 500 confirmed cases. There are 44 known active cases. There is one confirmed case of the UK (B.1.1.7) variant. The region is in the yellow – protect zone.
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit: 2,002 cases, rate of 1,335 per 100,000 people.  The health unit has reported 1,994 cases, There are 470 known active cases. The region is in the grey – lockdown level.

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72 new COVID-19 cases reported on Vancouver Island – CHEK

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British Columbia health officials have reported 1,462 new cases – including  72 in Island Health – and 11 deaths from COVID-19.

From Friday to Saturday there were 545 cases, from Saturday to Sunday there were 532 new cases, and in the past 24 hours, there were 385 cases identified.

The number of confirmed cases in B.C. climbs to 84,569 while the province’s death toll now stands at 1,391.

Of the new cases, 407 were recorded in Vancouver Coastal Health, 802 were in Fraser Health,  72 in Island Health,  79 in Interior Health, and 102 in Northern Health.

There are 4,854 currently active cases in the province, 240 people in hospital — 66 of whom are in intensive care — and 8,723 people under active public health monitoring due to possible exposure to an identified case.

A total of  78,237 people in B.C. have recovered from COVID-19 while 333,327 doses of vaccine have been administered province-wide.

During Monday’s update, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the province’s provincial health officer, said there were 144 new cases that are variants of concern identified in the province since the last update on Friday.

“The majority of these cases are in the Fraser Health region, where we are continuing to see the majority of transmission,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry.

A total of 363 cases are associated with the U.K. variant while 31 cases are the B151 variant or South African variant.

B.C. has recorded a total of 394 cases with a variant of concern, with six of those cases being identified in the Island Health region.

“A quarter of these cases, we do not know exactly how they were transmitted, which tells us that the variants are some of the viruses that are being transmitted in our communities,” said Henry on Monday.

Island Health

There are currently 267 active cases on Vancouver Island, according to the latest information posted on the BCCDC‘s dashboard.

Fourteen people are in hospital, one of whom is in critical care.

A total of 625 tests for COVID-19 were performed in the past 24 hours in the region.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, there have been 2,587 cases, 143 people hospitalized, 2,281 recoveries and 28 deaths on Vancouver Island.

Meanwhile, Island Health reported 231 active cases on Vancouver Island in its latest dashboard update. Of those active cases, 48 are in the South Island, 130 are in Central Island, and 53 are in the North Island.

Island Health’s data often lags behind the BCCDC’s data due to a “difference in timing of reporting across laboratory and public health data sources.”

‘Modified return’ of certain activities on the horizon

During Monday’s update, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the province’s provincial health officer, offered an optimistic outlook for the weeks ahead, saying that British Columbians can look ahead to a “modified return” of certain activities that are currently prohibited.

“We are not going to rush to get things open, but we will take a thoughtful, careful and phased approach over the next few weeks,” said Henry. “I like to think of it as slowly turning up the dial again, rather than flipping the switch,” said Henry, stressing that British Columbia is not in a place where it can simply return to pre-pandemic life.

Such activities that could resume include in-person faith-based gatherings, small outdoor social gatherings, and children’s camps and sports in certain settings.

“What we are looking at as we head into March break or spring break at the end of this week and into next week, is seeing the return of things like gatherings outside, where it safer, activities outside that we can do in groups with precautions in place,” she said.

Health officials are also looking at allowing more inter-provincial travel in time for spring break.

“We will be looking at how we can travel and explore during March break as a family or a small group together with our household, exploring our own region and making sure that if we are going to different parts overnight within our region or within the province that we do make sure that we are not going to place that are not yet ready to receive visitors,” said Henry.

It is likely the virus that causes COVID-19 will remain for a while longer, but there is hope on the horizon, according to Henry.

“There is much we can look forward to in the coming months ahead,” she said.

More to come

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BC health officials report 1,462 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths since Friday | News – Daily Hive

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British Columbia health officials announced on Monday there have been 1,462 new test-positive COVID-19 cases since Friday, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 84,569.

During a press conference, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said there were 545 cases reported from Friday to Saturday, 532 from Saturday to Sunday, and 385 from Sunday to Monday.

Broken down by health region, this equates to 407 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 802 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 72 in the Island Health region, 79 in the Interior Health region, and 102 in the Northern Health region.

  • See also: 

There were also 11 new COVID-19-related deaths, for a total of 1,391 deaths in British Columbia.

There are 4,854 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, with 8,723 people under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases. A total of 78,237 people who tested positive have recovered.

Of the active cases, 240 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 66 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

There are 144 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants of concern in the province, for a total of 394 cases. Of these, 87 are active and the remaining cases have recovered.

To date, 333,327 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in BC, 86,295 of which are second doses.

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