COVID-19 is not over. Worldwide, cases are still increasing. Due diligence helped Nova Scotia flatten the curve and we need to keep it that way.
Whether you're on a patio, at the beach or hanging out in your backyard this summer, don't forget that COVID-19 hasn't gone away. Wash your hands or sanitize frequently, and if you can't keep your two-metre physical distance from those outside your group of no more than 10 people, wear a mask. NS top doc Robert Strang recommends it.
Since mid-May—when the province announced a further easing of restrictions on things like sailing, public trails, and beaches—it seems as though many people seem to forget that not even two months ago, in early April, it was announced that travel was no longer a prerequisite for testing. Community spread meant anyone could potentially have the virus, regardless of travel history.
That sounds kind of scary— and yet it’s not uncommon to see people on public transit or in public places wearing masks wrong or just not at all—despite it being one of the major things controlling the spread of the virus.
Halifax Transit even announced they would be handing out free masks at some terminals on July 10.
In support of public health recommendations, we strongly encourage our riders to please #wearamask when possible. To help, we’ll be handing out free masks at terminals around Halifax. Tomorrow, we'll be at Alderney from 6:30 - 8:30 a.m. and Scotia Square from 9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. pic.twitter.com/WekWRNMIUn— Halifax Transit (@hfxtransit) July 9, 2020
Don’t have a medical mask? Don’t worry—concerned crafters on Pinterest have you covered. There are tons of patterns online that you can sew or commission to be made if you can’t find any in local stores.
Public Health says when worn properly, non-medical masks reduce the risk of transmitting the virus in the same way that following cough and sneeze etiquette can protect others. Officials strongly recommend that you wear a non-medical mask if you have respiratory symptoms (like coughing or sneezing) and you’ll be in close contact with other people, or if you’re going out to access medical care or other essential health services.
Even if you don’t have symptoms, public health officials strongly recommend you wear a non-medical mask whenever you’re in places where it’s hard to maintain social distance (like on public transit, in grocery stores and in group living situations).
Of course, using a mask alone isn’t enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19. You should also make sure to keep your hands clean, follow cough and sneeze etiquette such as coughing into your elbow, practice social distancing and stay home if you’re feeling sick.
Be sure to sanitize your groceries, and wipe down door handles, light switches, railings, remotes and other high-touch areas daily, especially when having guests or if you or a family member is an essential worker like a barista, nurse, or truck driver.
Never share personal items, like toothbrushes (ew!), clothing, towels or drinks and use disposable gloves and protective clothing (like plastic aprons) when cleaning anything soiled with bodily fluids.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang also recommends you order online for things such as groceries and prescription medication.
Remember, although COVID-19 cases are going down in Halifax, other places are still ravaged by the virus. In Ontario, 170 new COVID-19 cases were reported on July 9 alone. Not to mention the fact that the Atlantic Bubble has recently burst, meaning Atlantic Canadians are now able to travel between Canada's four easternmost provinces without self-isolating.
We know it’s a lot to remember, but if people keep being diligent, the curve will continue to flatten. We’re counting on you, Halifax.