Today, Premier McNeil announced that Nova Scotia is not yet ready to open to the rest of Canada, even though NB has opened to the Gaspe area of Quebec. We are working with citizens who have shared a level of anxiety about opening up to the rest of Canada and we want to ensure them public health is paramount.
The recent death was a female in her 60's that was previously reported as being resolved. She passed away in May and it was recently determined that COVID-19 was in fact a factor in her death.
Today, 2 new cases were reported. They traveled together outside Canada and have been in isolation since their return.
Dr Strang - "The mask approach is based on 3 pillars.
Policy - Why are we doing it now? Evidence has changed as has the evolution of whether or not masks help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Even with few cases, to be prepared for a likely 2nd wave it's important to make masks mandatory now. Living with COVID-19 is part of our new reality. We must start normalizing the wearing of masks now. We need to stick to all of these measures for the foreseeable future.
Communication - There are resources online, signs available for businesses, information on how to wear a mask and how to choose or make an effective mask. Common signage will be important.
Access - Having ready access to masks is important. Most of us already have one, many local businesses are making them. All provincial libraries and museums will give out masks. Transit and taxis have a supply to distribute as well as homeless shelter and there will be a supply of masks at schools as well. There is an email address that small businesses can use to request masks as well. There are all reusable non-medical masks. We want to ensure access is not a reason why anyone does not wear one.
No proof is required show you are exempt from wearing it. We just ask that you are honest and not take advantage of this. Businesses are asked to respect this and take people at their word.
Business owners are encouraged to recommend masks is non-pubic indoor spaces for their clients and employees as well. Private business meetings of up to 50 people in indoor rented spaces like hotel conference rooms are exempt from the mask requirement. Plexi-glass does not replace the need for glass as the virus can go over, under and around it but it does add an additional layer of protection, especially when face to face with someone. Face shields cannot be worn instead of a mask. It's also an additional layer of protection, mainly for the eyes, but does not replace the need for a mask. There is a company making masks where you can see your smile, but this is not an acceptable mask as it does not fit tightly around your face and will allow virus particles to more easily escape. People will be able to see your smile through your eyes when wearing an acceptable mask that fits tightly.
We have the ability to issue fines for anyone not following the orders in the Health Protection Act, but we will not be taking that heavy handed approach and want to ensure those that are more vulnerable and have a valid medical reason are not negatively impacted."