Travelling sports teams in question as COVID-19 cases grow in N.S.

HALIFAX —
With COVID-19 cases rising in the Halifax area, some people in Nova Scotia’s rural areas are becoming increasingly nervous about travelling to the region’s largest city. Additionally, as sports teams in the province continue to travel to Halifax, some people are lashing out online.

On Sunday, it was game day for hockey players in Glace Bay. Meanwhile, other teams’ game itineraries included travelling to Halifax for a weekend spent playing the game they love.

Despite their enthusiasm, some teams are worried about more than winning games, with COVID-19 cases rising in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

“For sure, there’s a worry – we’re in the middle of a pandemic,” says Glace Bay Minor Hockey president, James Edwards. “It can happen to anybody, and it’s proven worldwide.”

As of Sunday, Hockey Nova Scotia says there are no changes to hockey activities.

“We have a lot of confidence in our rebound plan; a lot of time and thought has been put into it,” says Hockey Nova Scotia executive director Amy Walsh. “It’s also a comprehensive living document, so as public health restrictions change, we pivot, and we change.”

With holiday deals on the horizon, businesses province-wide are anticipating many shoppers. Cape Breton Regional Municipality Mayor Amanda McDougall is asking people who plan on travelling to think twice and support local instead of crossing the causeway.

“My own family, we planned to go up to Halifax next weekend to attend Glow Halifax and kick off the holiday season,” says McDougall. “We’ve cancelled that because it’s not necessary, and I’m hoping people take responsibility and do the same thing.”

However, while Halifax Mayor Mike Savage admits he’s concerned about the number of COVID-19 cases in his city, he says if people follow the rules laid out by the province, shopping and dining out can be done safely.

“We follow the directions of Dr. Strang, and right now, people can go out and shop if they need to, and under the right circumstances, wear a mask and social distance,” says Savage.

Still, some people on social media have faced backlash for planning a trip to the province’s largest city.

“At the end of the day, it’s up to each individual to take responsibility for themselves,” says McDougall.

And Glace Bay Minor Hockey officials say they’re ready if travel restrictions are put in place.

“If it reaches a point where we have to say ‘that’s it,’ then we will do that,” says Edwards. “But the other positive to it might be a chance for us to have a Cape Breton minor hockey association to restrict the travel and keep everything local.”

Meanwhile, Hockey Nova Scotia says it will meet with all minor hockey associations across the province on Monday evening, and it will continue to take direction from Public Health.

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