Premier McNeil and Dr. Strang update on COVID-19 / Response to COVID-19: Halifax Transit Update

The Covid Chronicle

**** HEALTH/WELLNESS Media Release

Update on COVID-19
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Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, gave an update today, April 9, on efforts related to COVID-19.

Measures announced today include:
— applications for the $40 million Worker Emergency Bridge Fund and Small Business Impact Grant will be available and accepted starting Friday, April 10. Applications for small business will be online at 8 a.m. A toll-free phone line for applications for the worker fund will be open starting at 8 a.m. Call 1-800-863-6582 after checking eligibility online. See https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/#support for more information.
— payment for more than 480 small-business fees will be deferred until June 30 to keep cash in small business hands
— to help people who need additional supports, 211 will launch Saturday, April 11, a new service to connect people needing COVID-19 assistance with the Canadian Red Cross. The Red Cross will act as a navigator to link people to the services they need. In addition, the Red Cross will offer wellness check-ins for Nova Scotians who are isolated and experiencing loneliness and anxiety
— private campgrounds must close until May 1, when the measure will be reassessed
— only veterinarians working with the SPCA may carry out spay and neuter surgeries
— the order under the Health Protection Act has been amended to require workers in the fishing and offshore industries to self-isolate when they enter the province

Nova Scotia has one new death related to COVID-19 and 31 new cases identified Wednesday, April 8. This is the second death related to COVID-19. There are 373 positive test results. Confirmed cases range in age from under 10 to over 90. Ten individuals are currently in hospital, four of those in intensive care units. Eighty-two individuals have now recovered and their cases of COVID-19 are considered resolved. Cases have been identified in all parts of the province. A map and graphic presentation of the case data is available at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/data .

If you have two or more of the following symptoms, visit https://811.novascotia.ca/ to determine if you should call 811 for further assessment:
— fever
— new or worsening cough
— sore throat
— runny nose
— headache

Quick Facts:
— testing numbers are updated daily at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus
— a state of emergency was declared under the Emergency Management Act on March 22 and extended to April 19
— there are 22 primary assessment centres in Nova Scotia: 21 operated by Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) and one operated by the IWK Health Centre, temporary primary assessment centres are operating in two communities
— two mobile assessment centres are being established by NSHA to do community-based testing; Emergency Health Services operates two field assessment units, one in Halifax Regional Municipality and one in Cape Breton Regional Municipality
— the first death in the province was on April 6 – a woman in her 70s with underlying medical conditions died in hospital in the Eastern Zone as a result of complications related to COVID-19

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**** HRM Media Release

Response to COVID-19: Halifax Transit Update

 The Halifax Regional Municipality continues to monitor and respond to the rapidly evolving effects of COVID-19.

Halifax Transit will implement the following new measures over the long weekend to help reduce the spread of disease. These changes will significantly reduce capacity and as a result, transit should be used for essential travel ONLY.

Those who are feeling ill should not use any​ transit service until their health returns to normal.

Conventional Buses

  • Alternating seats will be blocked off with appropriate signage. This measure will further reduce capacity by approximately 50 per cent depending on the model of bus.

  • Please note: The caution tape that was previously at the front of the bus separating the operator from passengers will be replaced with a yellow cord as a barricade. Additional signage will be in place indicating which seats are reserved for passengers with mobility needs.

  • Passengers will continue to use the rear doors unless the front doors are required for accessibility.

Ferries

  • Capacity will be reduced to 25 passengers per trip.
  • Food and drink will be prohibited to reduce litter.

Terminals

The following changes will come into effect over the coming week:

  • Alternating seats will be blocked off with signage at some terminals.

In addition to these changes, several other measures have been taken to help reduce the spread of disease, including​ an increased frequency in wipe-downs of high-touch surfaces,​ the elimination of fares, having bus users enter and exit through the rear doors and limiting passengers on buses to seated passengers only. All of these changes support the municipality’s commitment to safe social distancing.​

Halifax Transit has been designated by the Province of Nova Scotia an essential service under the current provincial state of emergency. In light of this direction by the province, the municipality will continue delivering the highest level of service that can be reasonably provided – while also continuing to take steps that help minimize the spread of COVID-19 and make buses as safe an environment as possible in the circumstances.

Residents are reminded that the level of transit service provided will continue to be adjusted as necessary, based on available operational resources. Buses and ferries continue to operate on a reduced schedule.

For more information on municipal services during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit Halifax.ca/coronavirus.

Thank you for helping with the community effort to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19

Additional Resources:
Government of Canada: https://canada.ca/coronavirus

Government of Canada toll-free information line 1-833-784-4397

The Mental Health Provincial Crisis Line is available 24/7 to anyone experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis, or someone concerned about them, by calling 1-888-429-8167 (toll free).

Kids Help Phone is available 24/7, by calling 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free).

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