Nfld. & Labrador

1st COVID-19 hospitalization in N.L. as cases top 100

There is one new case in the Labrador-Grenfell Health region, with the rest in Eastern Health.

One new case in Labrador-Grenfell Health region, with remainder in Eastern Health

Dwight Ball speaks at the daily COVID-19 briefing on Thursday. (Government of NL)

There are now more than 100 cases of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador, with 20 new cases since Thursday.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald said there is one new case in the Labrador-Grenfell Health region, while the rest are in the Eastern Health region. The province now has 102 cases.

One person is now in hospital in the Eastern Health region as a result of the virus. Health Minister John Haggie said the hospitalization rate in Canada is about six per cent.

There are 95 cases in the Eastern Health region, two in Central Health, one in Western Health and four in Labrador-Grenfell. The newest case in Labrador-Grenfell appears to be travel-related, but not ferry travel, according to Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald said there is one person in the province who meets the criteria to be considered recovered from COVID-19.

For most people, she said, it's a mild disease and they usually feel better in about a week. But if it's a more severe case, or it's a person with underlying medical conditions, recovery will take longer.

Watch the full March 27 update:

Fitzgerald said 68 of the cases are related to a service at Caul's Funeral Home in St. John's last week.

"This emphasizes the importance and impact measures like physical distancing can have in this province when it comes to the spread of this virus," Fitzgerald said.

Newfoundland and Labrador has 102 positive cases of COVID-19 as of Friday. (CBC)

"We all have the responsibility and the ability to lessen the impact that this virus has on our province by staying home unless it's essential to go out."

Fitzgerald said 56 per cent of positive cases are female and 44 per cent are male.

  • Nine cases are under 19 years old.
  • 13 cases between 20 and 39.
  • 13 cases between 40 and 49.
  • 26 cases 50 and 59.
  • 16 cases 60 and 69.
  • 20 cases above 70. 
  • Five cases don't have age information yet.

Haggie said there are 96 people waiting for a followup from public health officials, with the maximum wait for those people to be contacted by a registered nurse down to nine hours. 

Haggie also said health-care facilities in all of the province's four health regions are down to one access point per building with security on site for screening. He said visitation has been limited severely across the regions. 

"There is a much reduced number of people going through."

Premier Dwight Ball said the province is not considering stopping people from travelling to different communities yet.

Newfoundland and Labrador's total cases is 102. Five cases don't have age information yet. (CBC)

Furthermore, Fitzgerald said most of the province's cases can be related to the Caul's Funeral Home cluster and that health authorities are also doing COVID-19 testing while screening influenza cases.

"We haven't today found any COVID testing through that means which would be an indicator of community spread," she said. 

"So I mean this technically is spread within the community at this point. However, we are able to relate that spread back to a single event."

CIBC branches

On Friday the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce confirmed that a person making deliveries to three branches in the province has tested positive for COVID-19.

"Enhanced cleaning has been completed at the location out of an abundance of caution and in addition to our ongoing cleaning protocols," the company said in a statement.

Protection

Fitzgerald also noted that while some employees at essential businesses, such as grocery stores, have begun wearing latex gloves to protect themselves and customers, people still need to wash their hands.

People can contaminate their hands with what's on the outside of the gloves when they're taken off, she said.

"So you have to make sure, when you take the gloves off, that you wash your hands well or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to wash your hands," she said.

On Thursday, there were 15 new cases announced — all within eastern Newfoundland — for a total of 82.

Among those infected are health-care workers, some of whom worked at the Health Sciences Centre. It is assumed they contracted the virus at Caul's Funeral Home, which is the epicentre of a cluster of COVID-19 cases.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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