Nfld. & Labrador

3 new cases of COVID-19 in N.L., with 4 new recoveries

As Newfoundland and Labrador's neighbours find battle a COVID-19 spike, the Health Department is reporting three new cases on Thursday.

Province's active caseload drops for first time in more than 2 weeks

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting three new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. (Patrick Butler/Radio-Canada)

As Newfoundland and Labrador's neighbours find themselves battling a COVID-19 spike, the Health Department is reporting three new cases on Thursday.

According to a media release from the department, one case is a man in his 60s in the Eastern Health region, related to travel within Canada. 

The two other cases are in the Western Health region: a woman between 20 and 39 years old and man under 20 years old. Both cases are close contacts of a previously known case.

Contact tracing by public health is underway. Anyone considered a close contact has been advised to quarantine.

Related to one of the new cases, public health is asking passengers who travelled on Air Canada Flight 8996 from Halifax to St. John's on Tuesday to arrange COVID-19 testing. Passengers can complete the online self-assessment tool or call 811.

The department is also reporting four new recoveries: one in the Eastern Health region and three in Western Health. For the first time in more than two weeks, the province's caseload has dropped — by one, to 26. Nobody is in hospital due to the virus. 

To date, 130,909 people have been tested, including 468 since Wednesday's update.

The Health Department says an investigation into a case reported April 8 in the Eastern Health region was unable to identify the source.

"This is called a non-epidemiologically linked case and indicates that there is, or was, an unknown case of COVID-19," reads Thursday's media release. "This could happen for any number of reasons, including the individual may have been asymptomatic and recovered, the individual may have left the province or the individual did not seek testing."

The Department of Health is also advising rotational workers of COVID-19 outbreaks at worksites in Alberta: 

  • Cenovus Foster Creek.
  • Suncor Fort Hills.
  • Syncrude Aurora.

The department says it was notified about the outbreaks by the Public Health Agency of Canada as workers include people from Newfoundland and Labrador.

Rotational workers with these projects who have returned to Newfoundland and Labrador in the last two weeks now must self-isolate and distance themselves from household members, call 811 to arrange testing and complete the full 14-day self-isolation period, regardless of test result.

Phase 2 vaccinations

Elsewhere, Nova Scotia added 38 cases overnight, its highest daily count since the early days of the pandemic. Premier Iain Rankin said Wednesday the province was seeing early signs of community spread, further endangering the prospect of a mid-May Atlantic bubble reopening date.

On Wednesday, Newfoundland and Labrador Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald said three of the province's four regional health authorities will deliver an open call Monday for workers — including air crew and truck drivers who travel outside the province — to book vaccine appointments.

The fourth, Labrador-Grenfell Health, has already started vaccinating rotational workers.

Health Minister John Haggie said he's looking at a mid-May wrap-up for Phase 2, when health regions will invite appointments from all Phase 2 groups.

Haggie said 31 per cent of Newfoundland and Labrador's eligible population had been vaccinated with at least one dose as of Tuesday night, with deliveries expected to increase substantially in May and June.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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