New rules put in place to limit the transmission of COVID-19 among children during cultural events
December 1, 2021, 4:40 p.m. ASTLast updated: December 1, 2021, 4:40 p.m.
Children 11 and under in Nova Scotia will have to wait until the New Year to participate in sporting and cultural events outside the province due to new travel restrictions.
The restrictions take effect immediately. They also apply to children traveling in the province. Nova Scotia organizations, businesses and individuals cannot host sporting, artistic and cultural events that include children under the age of 11.
The province’s chief medical officer of health, Dr Robert Strang, said children can continue to travel from province to province for regular practices and classes as they are at a lower risk of transmission as they interact with the same group.
“Putting these restrictions in place will allow children to stay in school and participate in these events in Nova Scotia until December,” Strang said on a teleconference Wednesday.
Children 11 and under from Nova Scotia can continue to attend these sporting and cultural events outside of the province as spectators.
“Being a spectator is a lot different than going to a tournament or a competition where there’s a lot more interaction, especially between kids that age,” Strang said. “There are a lot more opportunities for transmission if they actually participate in these types of activities. “
Strang said the move will help put another layer of protection on young Nova Scotians as they get vaccinated.
Immunizations for children under 11 in Nova Scotia began on Wednesday.
“As of Monday, more than 30% of this age cohort had already made an appointment,” Strang said. “We hope that as many children as possible in the 5 to 11 age group will receive their first dose of the vaccine before Christmas.”
Strang said supply would not be an issue.
Once the holiday season is over, the government will review immunization for children under 11 and reassess whether restrictions should remain.
“My intention would definitely be to remove this as soon as we can safely do so after the holiday season,” Strang said.
Strang said the restrictions are not part of the province’s response to the new omicron COVID-19 variant. He said they were put in place due to the current situation with the COVID-19 delta variant.
Nova Scotia reported 35 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.
There are 16 cases in the north zone, 16 in the central zone and three in the west zone. There is a cluster of cases in a community located in the northern area.
There are 203 known active cases in the province. Fifteen people are hospitalized, including eight people in intensive care.
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