New Gathering Limits Announced

Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health for Nova Scotia, announced today, June 18, changes to gathering limits given Nova Scotia’s low rates of COVID-19.

“We’ve now had well over a week with no new cases of COVID-19 and low rates for the last several weeks. That is thanks to Nova Scotians who have been following public health protocols,” said Premier McNeil. “Our aim is to safely open as much of the economy and our province as we can so that Nova Scotians and the business community can have a good summer. The core measures of social distancing and good hygiene that have kept case numbers low will stay in place. But effective today, household bubbles are down and gathering limits are up.”

People can now gather in groups of up to 10 without physical distancing. People in a group are not required to be exclusive but they are strongly encouraged to maintain a consistent group.
This is especially important for Nova Scotians who are more at risk of complications from COVID-19. This change replaces the concept of family household bubbles.

Gatherings of up to 50 will now be allowed but people must observe physical distancing of two metres or six feet.

The larger gathering limit of 50 applies to social events, faith gatherings, sports and physical activity, weddings and funerals, and arts and culture events like theatre performances, dance recitals, festivals and concerts.

Businesses that are too small to ensure physical distancing can have no more than 10 people on their premises at a time.
Effective today, playgrounds can start reopening. Municipalities and other owners of playgrounds will need time to prepare them for reopening so Nova Scotians should not expect them to be open immediately.

“We’re providing a new option for close social interaction because it’s important for our well-being, but everybody needs to make decisions that take into consideration the risks, their own circumstances, and how they help keep everyone safe,” said Dr. Strang. “It’s important that we all continue physical distancing as much as possible, good hand hygiene, cough etiquette, staying home if you’re sick and making informed decisions about the groups and activities we choose to join.”

To date, Nova Scotia has 50,240 negative test results, 1,061 positive COVID-19 cases, 62 deaths, and two active COVID-19 cases. Cases range in age from under 10 to over 90. Two individuals are currently in hospital, one of those in ICU. Nine-hundred and ninety-seven cases are now resolved. Cases have been identified in all parts of the province. Cumulative cases by zone may change as data is updated in Panorama. A map and graphic presentation of the case data is available at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/data .

If you have any one of the following symptoms, visit https://811.novascotia.ca to determine if you should call 811 for further assessment:
— fever (i.e. chills, sweats)
— cough or worsening of a previous cough
— sore throat
— headache
— shortness of breath
— muscle aches
— sneezing
— nasal congestion/runny nose
— hoarse voice
— diarrhea
— unusual fatigue
— loss of sense of smell or taste
— red, purple or blueish lesions on the feet, toes or fingers without clear cause

Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information, handwashing posters and fact sheets at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus . Businesses and other organizations can find information to help them safely reopen at https://novascotia.ca/reopening-nova-scotia/ .

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 June 28

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

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

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)