Gathering limits increased for sports, arts events as N.S. marks 11 days with no new cases
State of emergency extended as Nova Scotia reports no new COVID-19 cases, no active cases
There are no known active cases of COVID-19 left in Nova Scotia and it has been 11 days since the province identified a new one.
No new cases were identified among 1,166 Nova Scotia tests completed at the province's labs on Thursday, according to a news release from the health department.
The province will also renew the state of emergency.
The order takes effect at noon Sunday and runs until Oct. 4, unless the government terminates or extends it.
In some scenarios, gathering limits to increase
Meanwhile, the province is set to raise the maximum number of people allowed to participate in organized sports and artistic performances without physical distancing.
Starting on Oct. 1, 50 athletes will be able to participate in organized sports without distancing, up from the previous limit of 10.
"For most sports, this will allow full team practices and competition to resume, while for the performing arts, this will allow for larger rehearsals and performances," provincial spokesperson Sarah Levy MacLeod said in a press release Friday.
The gathering limit of 50 applies to all players, coaches and officials who need to be on or near a playing field.
The same applies to performers, directors, cast and crew in an artistic production.
Reaction to new limit
The new 50-person limit also applies to recreational leagues such as adult hockey, plus open swims and skates.
"If you want to go to the full size game, which is a 11 [versus] 11, plus some players on the bench, a couple of coaches and the referees, we can easily keep it under that 50 mark," said Lindsay van Kessel, president of Thunder FC, a soccer club on the South Shore.
"That does not include the parents and viewers. So we may still have … some people who are going to be a little disappointed that they might not be able to come and actually get close enough to see and watch the kids."
Van Kessel said to be able to have kids back on the field in some capacity in a competitive environment is "going to be great for their morale and their health."
Gathering limits of 15 remain in place for day camps and after-school programs.
Audiences for outdoor performances can be up to 250 people with physical distancing.
Indoor audiences are limited 50 percent of a facility's capacity to a maximum of 200 people, with physical distancing and masks.
The government is asking all organizations to have a rollback plan in place in case stronger restrictions return.
Three active COVID-19 cases in region
Nova Scotia has recorded 86,031 negative test results, 1,086 positive COVID-19 cases and 65 deaths since March.
The latest numbers from around the Atlantic bubble are:
- New Brunswick reported no new cases and one active case Friday.
- Newfoundland and Labrador reported one new case and two active cases Friday.
- P.E.I. reported Tuesday it had one active case.
Anyone with one of the following symptoms of COVID-19 should go to this website to see if they should call 811 for further assessment:
- Cough or worsening of a previous cough.
Anyone with two or more of the following symptoms is also asked to visit the 811 website:
- Sore throat.
- Shortness of breath.
- Runny nose.
With files from Jack Julian