COVID-19

Province Announces Mandatory Masks in Indoor Public Places

Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health for Nova Scotia, announced today, July 24, that masks will become mandatory in most indoor public places starting July 31.

“As we open our economy, our schools and our communities, we must continue to be vigilant to minimize the impact of a second wave of COVID-19,” said Premier McNeil. “Wearing a non-medical mask in most indoor public places is a key part of how we protect each other and support our local businesses so they can stay open for the long run.”

Indoor public places include:

  • retail businesses
  • shopping centres
  • personal services businesses such as hair and nail salons, spas, body art facilities, except during services that require removing a mask
  • restaurants and bars, except while people are eating or drinking
  • places of worship or faith gatherings
  • places for cultural or entertainment services or activities such as movie theatres, concerts and other performances
  • places for sports and recreational activities such as a gym, pool or indoor tennis facility, except while doing an activity where a mask cannot be worn
  • places for events such as conferences and receptions
  • municipal or provincial government locations offering services to the public
  • common areas of tourist accommodations such as lobbies, elevators and hallways
  • common areas of office buildings such as lobbies, elevators and hallways, but not private offices
  • public areas of a university or college campus, such as library or student union building, but not classrooms, labs, offices or residences
  • train or bus stations, ferry terminals and airports
  • Children under two are exempt, as well as children aged two to four when their caregiver cannot get them to wear a mask. People with a valid medical reason for not wearing a mask are exempt. Schools, daycares and day camps continue to follow their reopening plans.

People are asked to use their own masks. Government will help with initial supplies of masks for people who cannot bring their own.

“Nova Scotians have made a habit of all the other core public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and now it’s time to also make a habit of wearing a non-medical mask in most indoor public settings,” said Dr. Strang. “I have confidence that Nova Scotians will do the right thing and take care of each other by wearing masks in these settings.”

Live Update - Nova Scotia Government, July 24, 2020

Nova Scotia has one active case of COVID-19. No new cases were identified yesterday when the lab completed 677 NS tests.

Premier McNeil and Dr. Strang will provide a #COVID19NS update today at 1 p.m., streaming to Facebook, YouTube (NSGov) and novascotia.ca/stayinformed/webcast .

There are no licensed long-term care homes in Nova Scotia with active cases of COVID-19.

Nova Scotia has 61,626 negative test results, 1,067 positives, 63 deaths, one active #COVID19 case and 1,003 cases are now resolved. There are currently no #COVID19NS hospitalizations. Stay up-to-date at www.novascotia.ca/coronavirus/data .

Live Update - July 22, 2020

Nova Scotia Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Zach Churchill and Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, announce the province's back to school plan, July 22, 2020.

You can watch on at https://novascotia.ca/stayinformed/webcast.

Students Return to School in September

Public school students across the province will return to class on Tuesday, Sept 8.

The back to school plan is supported by public health, the IWK Health Centre and education partners.

“Children need safe and supportive learning environments and that means being back in school with their peers,” said Zach Churchill, Minister of Education and Childhood Development.” Our plan supports the full, safe return of students and staff, while allowing us to adapt how students will learn if anything changes.”

Developed with survey feedback from more than 28,000 parents and students, and input from union and education partners, the plan outlines public health guidelines and enhanced safety measures for students and staff. It also includes measures to enhance student learning.

“Our current epidemiology shows that virus activity remains low in the province and education leaders have developed a plan with appropriate public health measures for returning to the classroom,” said Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health. “I’m comfortable with our schools reopening and my public health team and I will continue to work with education leaders to keep our students, teachers and other school staff safe.”

While overall, learning at-home during the spring went well, parents said there were some challenges, like access to technology. Government has invested $4 million to secure 14,000 computers to support student learning for those with limited or no access to technology.

In September, students, families and staff can expect:Regional Centres for Education and the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial will have plans to support enhanced cleaning, physical distancing and situations specific to schools in their area

  • classrooms to be reorganized to increase spacing
  • treating a class as a bubble, to minimize contact with other students
  • enhanced cleaning on school buses. All school bus riders and drivers will need to wear a mask
  • all staff and students in high school will be required to wear a mask in school spaces where social distancing is not possible, for example hallways and common areas. Students and staff do not have to wear a mask in class, unless they want to, or if they are working with a student whose individual program plan requires a mask be worn
  • regular handwashing or hand sanitizing by students and staff before entering school for classes and throughout the day
  • in-school assemblies and other large gatherings will not be permitted
  • cafeterias and school food programs will deliver food to students. Students will eat lunch at their desks
  • students will have the opportunity to engage in all subject areas, although some subject areas may look different

The plan includes contingencies if it becomes necessary to adjust based on public health advice.

NSBI’S BUSINESS READINESS PAGE

Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) has developed a webpage to provide helpful resources to help businesses in Nova Scotia as they begin to reopen and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. The resources are intended to be used as guides and references as business owners work to protect their employees and their customers.

The webpage includes updated information on federal and provincial funding assistance, business readiness guides, a business call to action, and a list of Nova Scotian companies that are producing PPE.

Visit the webpage at https://www.novascotiabusiness.com/covid-19-information/business-readiness

REGIONAL DESTINATION MARKETING ORGANIZATION PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM

The COVID-19 pandemic and the related travel restrictions have had a significant impact on tourism businesses and the organizations that work to promote communities throughout the province. Using partnership funds from Destination Canada, Tourism Nova Scotia is offering funding through a new program, the Regional Destination Marketing Organization Partnership, to support these organizations as we work to encourage people to explore our province when it is safe to do so.

The program will help eligible regional destination marketing organizations implement marketing activities that are complementary to Tourism Nova Scotia’s marketing recovery plan.

Details on the program and applications are available at https://tourismns.ca/regionalmarketingpartnershipprogram

The application deadline is Friday, June 26.