Canada

Strang says more school reopenings possible if COVID numbers stay low | CBC News

Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang is expected to provide a COVID-19 update on Monday at 3:00 p.m.

The livestream will be available in this story.

On Friday, Rankin and Strang announced details of the Nova Scotia reopening plan, the first phase of which will begin on Wednesday.

Strang said the timing of future phases will depend on the province’s COVID-19 epidemiology, the launch of vaccines, and the ability of public health and the health system to handle new cases.

Over the weekend, the province reported a total of 53 new cases of COVID-19 and five deaths. On Sunday there were 42 people in the hospital, 17 of them in the intensive care unit.

Vaccination appointments are now available to everyone in Nova Scotia ages 12 and older, and to date approximately 50 percent of the total population have received at least one dose.

Starting later this month, all travelers arriving at Halifax Airport will be tested for COVID-19. (Robert Kurz / CBC)

On Monday, Strand said CBCs Information morning He is confident that Nova Scotia will meet the vaccine goals set out in the reopening plan and is optimistic that the plan will be pushed forward every two weeks. Each phase should last between two and four weeks.

“A lot of people would say, and I agree, it had to be three to four weeks, but we’re feeling at vaccination rates that may allow us to only be in that one incubation period – two weeks,” Strang said.

The province’s number of active cases has steadily declined over the past two weeks. As of Sunday, 505 active cases were known, mainly in the central and eastern health zones, where community spread has been confirmed.

Schools reopened

Classrooms outside the Halifax and Sydney areas will reopen on Wednesday. In the Halifax and Sydney areas, where COVID-19 cases have been concentrated, schools will only reopen this week to some students with complex learning needs. However, Strang said that bringing more students back into the classrooms is still being considered.

“Today there are some final discussions with the Ministry of Education and the Prime Minister’s Office,” said Strang on Monday.

The province announced less than two weeks ago that all schools would be closed for the remainder of the year, but has since changed that position.

Discussions about Atlantic Bubble

Strang said discussions about the Atlantic bubble are ongoing. The bubble has tentatively been scheduled to reopen on July 1, Canada Day, but Strang said he was still suspicious of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island border measures.

“The bubble only works when you have a strong bubble around the provinces,” said Strang.

“If the bubble has a lot of holes … it will collapse.”

He said the New Brunswick and PEI reopening plans were “prematurely aggressive” when it comes to letting people from outside of Atlantic Canada admit without quarantine.

Strang said he expected to comply with 14-day isolation orders for travelers from outside of Atlantic Canada by August.

Atlantic Canada case numbers

  • New Brunswick reported 9 new cases on Sunday. The province has 143 active cases.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador reported nine new cases and 100 active cases on Saturday. Four people are in hospital with the virus.
  • PEI reported two new cases on Friday. There are 12 active cases.

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