Nfld. & Labrador

COVID-19 hospitalizations rise to 21 as N.L. prepares to move to Alert Level 3

Sunday saw the lowest daily number of new COVID-19 cases in more than a month, but the province's Health Department says that partially due to bad weather over the weekend.

Testing, results impacted by inclement weather Saturday and Sunday

Newfoundland and Labrador will move to a modified Alert Level 3 on Monday. (Paul Daly/Canadian Press)

As Newfoundland and Labrador prepares to move into a modified Alert Level 3 on Monday, one more person is in hospital because of COVID-19, raising the province's total hospitalizations to 21.

The Department of Health and Community Services said Sunday's numbers were affected by inclement weather across the province Saturday and Sunday. As a result, access to testing sites and the delivery of results were limited in some areas.

The 579 tests performed since Saturday produced 110 positive results: 88 in the Eastern Health region, five in Central Health, 14 in Western Health and three in Labrador-Grenfell Health.

That's a positivity rate of 19 per cent, with the total known active cases in the province dipping to 1,557.

Alert Level change

Sunday's update comes as the province prepares for a move into a modified Alert Level 3.

As of midnight, gyms, fitness facilities, restaurants and bars can operate at 50 per cent capacity, while cinemas, performance spaces and bingo halls can operate at 25 per cent capacity, but no food or drink can be served.

Under Alert Level 3, households are limited to the "Steady 20" bubble, funerals, burials, weddings and religious and cultural ceremonies are limited to 50 people or 25 per cent capacity, whichever is less, and wakes remain prohibited.

At a briefing Thursday, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald said the province will ease restrictions further on Feb. 21, provided case numbers and hospitalizations allow it.

"We need everyone to stay with us while we gradually open the tap and monitor the effect. If co-operation wanes now, the impact could result in a delay," she said.

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