Nova Scotia

2 new deaths, 84 new cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia

The two people who died were in their 70s and died in hospital in the Halifax area.

Province reports 1,028 active cases as of Friday

Premier Iain Rankin and Chief Medical Health Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang hold a COVID-19 briefing last month. (Communications Nova Scotia)

After a few days of declining COVID-19 case numbers in Nova Scotia, Premier Iain Rankin and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang said numbers had risen slightly Friday, with 84 new cases to report and two new deaths. 

The two people who died due to COVID-19 complications were in their 70s. Both died in hospital in the central zone, which includes the Halifax area. 

There have now been 76 deaths related to COVID-19 in Nova Scotia since the pandemic started. With 197 recoveries announced Friday, Nova Scotia has 1,028 active cases of COVID-19. There are 84 people in hospital, including 21 in the intensive care unit.

Of the 84 new cases, 66 are in the central zone, 11 in the eastern zone, six in the northern zone and one in the western zone. The province said there is community spread in the central zone and Sydney. 

One of those new cases was a staff member at Melville Lodge, a nursing home in Halifax. Residents and staff are being tested, although most have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Nova Scotia also eased restrictions on Friday for people moving to the province

The province opened vaccination appointments to Nova Scotians aged 25 to 29 on Thursday, as it announced 65 new cases.

As of Thursday, 483,549 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered and 40,900 of those people had received their second dose.

Nova Scotia remains locked down as the province contends with an aggressive third wave of the pandemic, and Rankin has said restrictions will be in place at least until June 9.

The premier said he might have a reopening plan to share next week.

Small business grant

On Friday, the province announced another $17.2 million toward the small business impact grant. Eligible businesses can receive 15 per cent of their sales revenue for the month of April 2019 or February 2020, up to a maximum of $5,000.

Businesses must have experienced an average monthly revenue decrease of 30 per cent or more for the period of March 1, 2020, to Feb. 28, 2021, compared to the same period the previous year, or expect at least a 30 per cent decrease in revenues in May 2021 resulting from the new restrictions introduced in April.

For businesses established after Feb. 1, 2020, the program provides a grant calculated as 15 per cent of the sales revenue for any month from April 2020 to March 2021. The applicant can choose the month.

The executive directors of two downtown business commissions say the new provincial money will help in the short-term, but that it's time to start planning for what happens after the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

The executive directors of two downtown business commissions say they're pleased with the additional money, but also want to see some kind of phased reopening plan so businesses know how long they need to hold on.

"This works well because it helps businesses with a lot of the fixed costs that continue to hit them while they're locked down, whether it's rent or utilities, security, all those sorts of costs that don't shut down when the province shuts down,"  Tim Rissesco with the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission told CBC Radio's Mainstreet on Friday.

Paul MacKinnon with the Downtown Halifax Business Commission says a long-term recovery plan, created in collaboration with the business community, is needed sooner rather than later. 

"Something like a new Ivany Report that's focused on, you know, how do we have a thriving small business community in Nova Scotia post-pandemic," he said. "We'd love to get behind that kind of effort."

Atlantic Canada case numbers

  • New Brunswick reported 15 new cases of COVID-19 Friday and a second death related to the AstraZeneca vaccine. 
  • Newfoundland and Labrador reported 10 new cases Friday and warned of a cluster of cases.
  • P.E.I. reported five new cases on Wednesday. The province has 14 active cases.

With files from CBC Radio's Mainstreet