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Nova Scotia expands gathering limits for businesses, organizations – The Guardian



Nova Scotia has further eased gathering limits on events held by businesses and organizations amid the continuing low rates of COVID-19 in the province. 

Effective July 3, outdoor gatherings organized by recognized businesses or organizations can host up to 250 people, while Indoor events will be restricted to 50 per cent capacity to a maximum of 200 people. Physical distancing rules must be in place under both circumstances. 

The expanded gathering limits apply to social events, faith gatherings, weddings and funerals, and arts and culture events such as theatre performances,dance recitals, festivals and concerts.

“We’ve now had more than two weeks with no new cases of COVID-19, and Nova Scotians are getting back to normal activities while maintaining precautions,” said Premier Stephen McNeil in a news release. 

“Continuing the core measures of physical distancing and hand hygiene is how we will keep our case numbers low, especially as we increase gathering limits and welcome Atlantic Canadian visitors to Nova Scotia.”

Gatherings not run by a recognized business or organization, for example a family event in the backyard, are still subject to the 50-person maximum limit with physical distancing, unless you’re in your close social group of 10, the news release said. 

Other changes:

  • Effective immediately, restaurants and licensed liquor establishments can operate at 100 per cent capacity and serve patrons until midnight with appropriate distancing between tables. Patrons must leave by 1 a.m. They must continue to follow their sector plans

  • private campgrounds can operate at 100 per cent capacity. They must continue to follow their industry sector plan

  • public pools can reopen with physical distancing for lane swimming and aquafit classes, and one or more groups of 10 for other activities based on pool size. They must follow the Nova Scotia Lifesaving Society plan for change rooms and washrooms. It will take municipalities and other public pools time to prepare for reopening 

  • people living in homes funded by disability support programs can resume going out into their communities, although it may take time for homes to make arrangements

Guidelines for these types of events are available here

People can continue to gather in close social groups of up to 10 without physical distancing, the release said. 

“People in a group are not required to be exclusive but they are strongly encouraged to maintain a consistent group. People should not gather in random or spontaneous groups of 10.”

Businesses that are too small to ensure physical distancing can still have no more than 10 people on their premises at a time with as much physical distancing as possible.

Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, has returned to work after recovering from skin cancer surgery in New Brunswick. At a news conference with the premier Friday, he said he now strongly recommends that people wear masks when social distancing isn’t possible.

“If you go to a grocery store or some other kind of retailer, and if you’re in the mall, if you’re on a bus or if you’re going to gatherings, unless you can be a hundred per cent sure that that you’re going to be able to maintain distance, you should be having a medical mask and and and using that (mask).

“I cannot I can’t emphasize this enough, it’s critically important that people understand this, that the tools we have used to flatten the curve in the first wave are the same tools that we need to continue to apply to minimize the impact of any future appearance of COVID-19 and there will be appearance of COVID-19.” 

– Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health

“So it’s important that Nova Scotians have a medical mask, that they carry it with them at all times, and that they use it where when it’s necessary and appropriate.”

Strang said exceptions to this recommendation are children under two and people who have medical reasons for not wearing a mask. 

The premier admitted there have been times when he hasn’t worn a mask when he should have. 

“When someone is wearing a mask they are protecting me and others. So I need to do the same for them.”

Strang said it’s inevitable that COVID-19 will return to the province. Adhering to public health protocols such as physical distancing, respecting gathering rules, hand hygiene, cough etiquette and wearing a mask when distancing isn’t possible will allow us to contain those outbreaks. 

“It’s now as we as we strengthen and further open things it’s even more important to continue with the public health protocols,” he said. “And I cannot I can’t emphasize this enough, it’s critically important that people understand this, that the tools we have used to flatten the curve in the first wave are the same tools that we need to continue to apply to minimize the impact of any future appearance of COVID-19 and there will be appearance of COVID-19.” 

A microscopic image of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. – Postmedia News
A microscopic image of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. – Postmedia News

No new cases again

Earlier Friday, Nova Scotia announced it has extended the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic even though there have been no new cases since June 9.

The province is extending the emergency until July 12 to protect the health and safety of Nova Scotia, and ensure the safe re-opening of businesses and services. the Health Department said in a news release. 

The province has the option of terminating or extending the order further before that date. 

A batch of 468 tests conducted at the QEII Health Sciences Centre’s microbiology lab all turned out negative. There are no active cases in the province. 

To date, Nova Scotia has 52,553 negative test results, 1,061 positive COVID-19 cases and 63 deaths. Nine-hundred and ninety-eight cases are now resolved. Two former COVID-19 patients remain in hospital being treated for other reasons. Neither are in intensive care.   

If you have any symptoms such as fever or worsening cough, and particularly if you have unusual symptoms such as red or purple lesions on your feet, toes or fingers,  visit to determine if you should call 811 for further assessment. 

A full list of symptoms and other COVID-19 information is available at

Surgery schedule gets busier

In other COVID-19 news Friday, the Nova Scotia Health Authority said as of June 21, of the scheduled surgeries that were postponed as a result of the pandemic, 48 per cent have been completed or rescheduled.

The week before COVID-19 service changes began, surgeons completed 1,407 operations. But with only urgent, emergency and time-sensitive cancer surgeries taking place, these numbers dropped significantly over the past number of months, to roughly one-third of our normal surgery volumes, the NSHA said in a newsletter. 

“Our surgical teams have worked to prioritize cases and increase our capacity so that as many patients as possible can get the surgery they need,” the newsletter said. “We have made adjustments to how we deliver and schedule services to allow for more surgery, while maintaining COVID-19 precautions.”

The NSHA said it’s gradually increasing access to endoscopy services across its various sites. Between May 18-24, before the current service increase, 89 endoscopies were done, which represents about 12 per cent of the cases done in the same week last year. After services were expanded, between June 15 and June 21, 563 endoscopies were completed (65% of cases compared to the same week in 2019). That represents an increase of 532 per cent since service reintroduction began, the newsletter said. 

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No new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba, extending streak to 8 days –



Manitoba has extended its record to eight days without a new case of COVID-19 being reported in the province.

The total number of cases identified in Manitoba is still 325, the province said in its daily coronavirus news bulletin on Wednesday.

There are currently six active cases of COVID-19 in the province. That number is down from 11 on Tuesday — which was also when Manitoba set its previous record for the longest stretch with no new cases of COVID-19, as the province marked a full week without a new case of the illness.

The province twice before reached a six-day stretch without any new cases reported.

There is still no one in hospital with the illness caused by the new coronavirus. The total number of deaths related to COVID-19 in Manitoba is still seven.

In total, 312 people have recovered from the illness in Manitoba.

On Tuesday, 614 tests for COVID-19 were done in the province, bringing the total number of tests done since the start of the pandemic to 67,618.

The province again asked for feedback on possible personal care home visitation shelters in its daily bulletin. 

Those centres are intended to help provide quality visits with people living in care homes, while making sure physical distancing is maintained and visitors and residents have personal protective equipment.

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COVID-19 Bulletin #126 –



Need More Info?

Public information, contact Manitoba Government Inquiry: 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744.

Media requests for general information, contact Communications Services Manitoba: 204-945-3765.

Media requests for ministerial comment, contact Communications and Stakeholder Relations: 204-945-4916.

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Alberta confirms 46 additional cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday –



Alberta Health announced an additional 46 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the province’s total confirmed cases to 8,436.

One additional death was also recorded. A man in his 80s in the South zone has died. Alberta Health said the man did not have any links to continuing care centres.

That brings Alberta’s pandemic death toll to 158 people.

Read more:
Edmonton’s Misericordia Hospital on ‘full facility outbreak’ due to COVID-19

The total number of active COVID-19 cases across the province was at 608 on Wednesday, down from the day before. Of those, 230 are in the Calgary zone and 232 are in the Edmonton zone. The Central zone has six active cases, the South zone reported 88 and there are 45 in the North zone.

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Seven active cases are not assigned to a zone.

Read more:
Some Alberta pharmacies are testing for coronavirus, but you’ll have to call around

Fifty-five people are in hospital with seven of those people currently in the ICU.

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To date, the province has performed 500,203 tests and 7,716 people have recovered.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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