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'You don't need mandates to tell you how to keep your family safe,' premier reiterates in new video

Liberal Leader Iain Rankin has called on Tim Houston to resume daily COVID-19 data reporting
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As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the premier and chief medical officer of health have posted a video to social media, but it doesn't appear the pair have plans to re-introduce public health measures any time soon.

In the roughly two minute Facebook video (see below), Tim Houston reiterated we need to continue to take the virus seriously.

"COVID-19 is present all around us, there's lots of COVID around and it's stubborn," Premier Houston stated. "It's not going anywhere, and given how contagious the current strain of this virus is, we are going to see cases rise."

"They're high now, they could go higher over the next little while, but eventually we'll see them start to go down."

However, he said mandates are not needed to "tell you how to keep your family safe."

Dr. Robert Strang added "COVID is challenging us yet again" and urged Nova Scotians to continue taking steps to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

"Vaccines offer the best protection against this virus, especially against severe disease," the doctor said. 

"Wear a mask in large crowds and in indoor public spaces, keep your social circles small and consistent, use rapid tests as a way to protect the people in your life at highest risk of severe outcomes, and use them anytime you have symptoms or when someone in your household tests positive," he added.

Prior to March 10, officials had been reporting COVID data every weekday.

That information now only comes out weekly, but it's clear there continues to be a surge in cases.

Last Thursday, the province reported another 10 deaths from COVID.

There were 4,188 positive PCR tests performed at the lab for the the one-week period ending March 30, but those who get a positive result on a rapid test are not required to confirm with a PCR test.

An outbreak in Nova Scotia's legislature has resulted in MLAs now being given an option of participating in proceedings via video link.

The Canadian Press reports as of late last week, as many as six members and staff had reportedly been sidelined after contracting COVID-19. 

In addition, this week's regional council meeting was held virtually due to the high number of COVID cases in the community.

The province lifted many public health protocols on March 21, including gathering limits, physical distancing and mandatory masking in most settings.

Liberal Leader Iain Rankin has called on Houston to resume daily data reporting would like to see him schedule a COVID-19 briefing.

“We need transparency in the numbers and for the government to be more definitive with public health measures so we can avoid the worst impacts of this wave,” the former premier stated in a news release earlier this week.

Rankin reacted to the video on Facebook by posting "if the premier has time to make a video, he should have time to hold a COVID briefing."

On Tuesday, Houston said the government is not averse to changing course because the pandemic is “unpredictable,” but he added that no changes are currently contemplated. He also disagreed that information is lacking.

“A great deal of information is provided by the province, and we will continue to fine-tune,” Houston said. “People also have a lot of information through their own social circumstances, either anecdotal or otherwise.”

With files from Canadian Press


Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana and lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the editor for CityNews Halifax.
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