HALIFAX: What many thought as the worst kept secret was confirmed on May 8 by Premier Stephen McNeil and it’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Robert Strang.
Many people had been saying they couldn’t see schools returning this year and felt they would indeed not see students returning to the classroom in the many schools across N.S.
At it’s COVID19 press briefing on May 8, Premier McNeil and Dr. Strang announced that the school year for students (online learning) will end June 5 and licensed daycares will remain closed until at least June 5. They also outlined how government will determine the best way to reopen Nova Scotia.
Teachers will continue to work until the end of June to complete assessments and other tasks.
“I have been hearing amazing reports about how students, parents and teachers have been doing with at-home learning,” said Premier McNeil in a release. “I want to thank the parents and family members who have done their best to support their children’s learning.
“And I want to thank the education workers who balanced home and work, too. You will have to do this for a little bit longer, but I believe in you and I know you’ve got this.”
The goal is for daycares to reopen by June 8, however the timeline for them to resume operating will be determined in consultation with the sector. Those consultations are underway and will help inform Nova Scotia’s reopening plan.
Nova Scotia’s reopening plan is under development. It will be based on the following:
— advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada’s recommendations and guidelines to lift public health measures
— status of COVID-19 in the province
— consultation with sectors
— the ability for people and businesses to continue to follow public health measures
“We must take a slow and methodical approach if we are to safely bring Nova Scotia back to normal,” said Dr. Strang. “No decisions have been made. We are working on a reopening plan that balances public safety with the need to increase economic and social activity.
“The first phase is still some weeks away.”
Reopening will be done in phases, over time. Each phase could last a minimum of 28 days. Readiness to reopen – and to move onto the next phase – will be assessed weekly.
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:
— new or worsening cough
— sore throat
— runny nose
To date, Nova Scotia has 32,835 negative test results, 1,008 positive COVID-19 test results and 46 deaths.
Confirmed cases range in age from under 10 to over 90. Five individuals are currently in hospital, two of those in ICU. Seven-hundred and twenty-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
It is now more important than ever for Nova Scotians to strictly adhere to the public health orders and directives – practise good hygiene, maintain a physical distance of two metres or six feet from others, limit essential gatherings to no more than five people and stay at home as much as possible.
Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information, handwashing posters and fact sheets at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus .
“I want to thank students, teachers, education workers and families for their hard work and commitment to learning during these unprecedented times.
“Nova Scotians across the education sector have worked together to learn in new and different ways, and this experience will continue to provide lasting benefits to our students in the months and years to come.
“For our Grade 12 students, I want you to know that we will celebrate your graduation at a time when it is safe to do so.”
– Zach Churchill, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development
— 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 May 17
Public Health Agency of Canada’s Foundations for Living with COVID-19 in Canada: Lifting of Restrictive Public Health Measures https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/canadas-reponse/recommendations-lifting-restrictive-public-health-measures.html#a3
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)
For help or information about domestic violence 24/7, call 1-855-225-0220 (toll-free).