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Phase 4 brings radical reopening Wednesday | COVID-19 | Halifax, Nova Scotia


TOp doctor Robert Strang confirmed on Monday that phase 4 of the COVID reopening will begin as scheduled, July 14 at 8 a.m. On Wednesday, Nova Scotians will be allowed to gather in groups of 25 at bars and restaurants, establishments that will be allowed to operate during pre-COVID hours. Dancing in the bar or on a terrace will be welcome, as long as you stay in the group you came with and keep your distance from others. Retail stores and gyms can return to full capacity, and outdoor events can accommodate 250 guests.

Phase 4 also marks the first easing of mask wearing restrictions since its implementation. Masks will no longer be required at outdoor gatherings, such as farmers’ markets or on a playground, even when physical distancing is not possible. Children under 12 will also be free to go without a mask to daycares and camps.

With nightly dining hours, dancing considerations, and masking changes, Phase 4 appears to be the most open in Nova Scotia since the first lockdown in March 2020. The difference between Phase 4 and Phase 5 are unclear, and the final phase is scheduled for September. Province not offering much on what’s to come when it reopens planning site, just that during phase 5, “we start to enter the new normal of life during COVID-19, including the relaxation of public health measures”, although no measures are mentioned. “Additional details on the plan will be released at the start of phase five. ”

While the number of Nova Scotians who receive at least a single dose, according to the province report– has yet to reach 75% of the population, the target required to enter Phase 4, during Monday’s COVID briefing Strang said the milestone has in fact been met. This is largely due to the 8,000 vaccinated military personnel who have not yet been included in the provincial count.

It’s unclear when that number will be reflected in the province’s vaccine report, which currently shows that 73.9% of our population is currently vaccinated. Absorption of the first dose slowed at a tremendous rate in Nova Scotia; At the current rate, it is impossible for the province to reach 75 percent of vaccinated by Wednesday without counting the 8,000 soldiers.

In the last seven days of immunization statistics reported by the province, from Monday July 5 to Sunday July 11, an average of about 1,500 unvaccinated people on average received their first dose of vaccine each day. If 1,500 people get vaccinated for the first time today (Monday) and tomorrow (Tuesday), not counting the Nova Scotia military group would be 74.2% vaccinated on Wednesday morning when phase 4 is due to begin. same with the military cohort of 8,000 people, it will take 1,400 people a day to get vaccinated to be 75 percent vaccinated by 8 am Wednesday.

At the briefing, Premier Iain Rankin and Strang both urged Nova Scotians to reserve any second available dose if they haven’t already. The premier said it appears a number of Nova Scotians are waiting for a dose of Pfizer in favor of Moderna, despite the two mRNA vaccines being considered equivalent.

“We need you to get your second injection… Don’t wait. We don’t have a big shipment of Pfizer coming in, and what we have has to be reserved for 12 to 17 year olds, ”Rankin said. Pfizer is the only vaccine currently approved by the federal regulator for people under 18, and the province expects 150,000 doses on July 25.

Strang said the province has a vaccine supply and delivery capacity to double 75 percent of all Nova Scotians by the end of August, but it is up to individuals to reserve their vaccines earlier . The province has added walk-in vaccination clinics in Dartmouth and Bayers Lake for this week.

“There are more than enough vaccines, more than enough appointments available. Now it’s up to Nova Scotians to decide. We need everyone who can get their first and second dose as soon as possible, ”Strang said.

With one new case today, there are 37 active cases of COVID in Nova Scotia. Of these people, three are hospitalized and two are in intensive care.

Electoral considerations

The prime minister, who has announced more than 30 new funding plans since June 1, declined to say whether the vaccination rate will be factored into the timing of the election call, although it is clearly imminent. Rankin said that once the subpoena is canceled, he will no longer appear alongside Strang during regular COVID briefings.

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