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Gyms, barber shops and nail salons among businesses that must close Thursday

Hair salons, barbershops, spas, nail salons, body art establishments and gyms in Nova Scotia will need to shut down as of midnight Thursday
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031820 - covid news conference
A screenshot of the March 18's live-streamed news conference

Hair salons, barbershops, spas, nail salons, body art establishments and gyms in Nova Scotia will need to shut down as of midnight Thursday.

Premier Stephen McNeil made the announcement at a news conference on Wednesday.

He said many of these businesses have been trying to use social distancing, but the overall goal is to keep people at home as much as possible.

"We will, on an ongoing basis, be looking at who's open, who's closed, what's happening, so don't be surprised if each day or two days we identify another sector of our economy that's going to have to close," he cautioned.

That could soon include dentists and physiotherapists. McNeil said officials are "actively looking at our regulated health professions" and plan to "have more information on that in the days to come."

In addition, all service providers funded through the Department of Community Services Disability Support Program are closed to both participants and the public.

Health Minister Randy Delorey was also at the news conference and announced the following:

  • doctors and pharmacists have new options for virtual care, using telephone and secure videoconferencing
  • pharmacists can renew prescriptions for most medications and government will cover the assessment fee
  • employers cannot require a doctor's note if an employee must be off work
  • College of Physicians and Surgeons waiving the fee for retired doctors to renew their licences so they can come back to work
  • retired and other nurses are being brought into the system to assist with 811 staffing
  • all service providers funded through the Department of Community Services' Disability Support Program - including social enterprises, day programs, and supported employment programs for adults with diverse abilities will close to participants and the public

The province's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Robert Strang, said he understands business closures and social restrictions have been a huge imposition on people's lives, but they are necessary to lower the significant impact coronavirus will have on our health care system.

"We can't prevent this virus from coming here, but we certainly can slow down the spread," McNeil added. "People need to take this in their own hands, understand the severity of it and self-isolate."

To date, Nova Scotia has nine presumptive positive cases and three confirmed cases of COVID-19.


Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana & lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the community editor for HalifaxToday.ca.
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