Halifax police want to work with people to curb coronavirus spread

Halifax Regional Police say they are using a “velvet glove” approach to get people to abide by social distancing directives set out by public health officials to try and halt the spread of the novel coronavirus.

That means police aren’t using a heavy-handed approach to breaking up groups of more than five or enforcing the two-metre social distancing rule.

What they are doing is encouraging people to talk to each other about the new reality — and help each other out.

“We’re all learning this together with the community,” said police spokesman Const. John MacLeod.

“We’re trying to deal with this the same way everybody else is, and we’re trying to help people understand what the expectations are.”

The province of Nova Scotia declared a state of emergency on March 22 and the province’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Robert Strang, has invoked the Health Protection Act to stem the spread of COVID-19.

That’s given the police guidelines to follow, the same as the public — but those rules could change.

“It’s evolving so fast; we’re trying to keep up, ” MacLeod said.

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