Nova Scotia has introduced strict new restrictions in the Central Zone for HRM and Hants County. They may adjust these restrictions to expand them geographically or tighten them further locally depending on epidemiology in the coming days and weeks.
In addition to the new restrictions, government is announcing:
- Auburn Drive High School in Cole Harbour and Graham Creighton Junior High in Cherry Brook will remain closed for two weeks after cases of COVID-19 were identified there earlier this week
- new province-wide requirements that limit the movement of long-term care residents outside their facilities
- new province-wide requirements for full-service restaurants and licenced establishments to collect the contact information of all patrons
- additional information for people who must self-isolate when entering Nova Scotia from outside the Atlantic Bubble
“This is a critical time for Nova Scotians,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “We have seen more cases in the last three weeks than in the last three months. But we have learned from our experience in the first wave of COVID-19 and what we have seen in other provinces. That is why we are a taking a targeted approach now to contain the virus and stop the spread.”
New gathering limits will go into effect in all of HRM except areas east of Porters Lake to Ecum Secum. The new limits will also apply to the Enfield and Mount Uniacke areas in both HRM and Hants County. The limits do not apply in Elmsdale and communities north of there.
From Monday, November 23 to December 21, the gathering limits in those areas will be:
- five people can gather in a close social group without physical distancing, down from 10
- a household may have more than five members but they may only go outside the home in groups of five
- households can only have a maximum of five visitors at a time
- onsite gatherings at long-term care facilities can have a maximum of five people (including residents and staff), down from 10
- adult day programs for seniors who live in the community will not be allowed
- 25 people, down from 50, can gather with physical distancing for informal indoor and outdoor social events like a neighbourhood street party
- indoor events run by a recognized business or organization can have 50 per cent of the venue’s capacity to a maximum of 100 people with physical distancing, down from 200
- outdoor events run by a recognized business or organization can have 150 people with physical distancing, down from 250
Bar staff in peninsular Halifax will be tested over seven days starting early next week.
The province is moving Graham Creighton Junior High and Auburn Drive High School to full online learning for two weeks as a precaution. The intended reopening date is Dec. 7. Computers are available for students, if needed.
Beginning at midnight November 23 until at least December 21st, the following restrictions for long-term care facilities will apply across the province:
- residents can only leave their facilities for medical/dental appointments
- a registered designated caregiver can take a resident for a sight-seeing car ride but they cannot include additional passengers or stops for shopping, visits, etc., of any kind or use drive-thrus
- a facility can continue sight-seeing outings using their vehicles, but physical distancing is required, no other passengers are permitted in the vehicle and there are no stops of any kind including use of drive-thrus
It will now be mandatory for full-service restaurants and licensed establishments province-wide to collect contact information from customers for contact tracing effective November 23rd. This information must be kept for four weeks from date of visit. There is no end date for this requirement.
It was reinforced today people who travel outside Atlantic Canada when it is not necessary must self-isolate in a completely separate space with no contact or shared living spaces with the rest of the household. Otherwise, the entire household must self-isolate or the traveler must self-isolate in another location.
The following situations are now recognized as necessary travel and do not require the entire household to self-isolate along with the traveler as long as a strict protocol for shared spaces is followed:
- people who must travel for work that cannot be done virtually and don’t meet the criteria for rotational workers
- legal custody arrangements that require parents or children to travel for visits
- essential, specialized health-care treatment that is not available in Atlantic Canada
- participating in an essential legal proceeding outside Atlantic Canada when virtual attendance is not possible
- students studying outside of Atlantic Canada whose primary or family residence is in Nova Scotia