N.L. reports 14 cases of COVID-19, most connected to central Newfoundland cluster

Newfoundland and Labrador reported 14 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, 11 of them linked to a cluster that prompted a partial lockdown in central Newfoundland.

Central cluster reaches 60 cases

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting14 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting 14 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, with 11 of them linked to a cluster that prompted a partial lockdown in central Newfoundland. 

The Central Health region has one other case, the Department of Health said, the source of which is under investigation. 

There are now 60 confirmed cases of COVID-19 associated with the cluster, and one presumptive positive case in the Central Health region related to the cluster.

In an update later Friday, Dr. Monika Dutt, the region's medical officer of health, told CBC News there are five more confirmed cases and two presumptive cases connected to a case reported Thursday in Stephenville in the Western Health region.

The Department of Health said more details will be issued with Saturday's COVID-19 update. 

Of the remaining three cases reported Friday, two are in the Eastern Health region. One is related to travel within Canada and one is a contact of a case connected to the central Newfoundland cluster. The final case reported Wednesday is in the Western Health region and related to travel within Canada. 

The Health Department reported seven new recoveries on Friday: three in Eastern Health, two in Central Health, and two in Western Health.

There are five people in hospital due to COVID-19, four of them in intensive care. 

With Friday's new cases and recoveries, there are now 96 active cases in the province, up seven from Thursday.

The 1,400 doses of AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine returned to the federal government will be used in other jurisdictions who are moving ahead with second doses of that shot, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. (Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters)

Also on Friday, the Department of Health advised rotational workers of COVID-19 outbreaks at worksites in Alberta and Saskatchewan:

  • Imperial Oil in Cold Lake, Alta.
  • Cigar Lake mine site in northern Saskatchewan.

The Health Department said it was notified about the outbreaks by the Public Health Agency of Canada as people from Newfoundland and Labrador work in these locations.

Rotational workers with these projects who have returned to N.L. in the last 14 days must self-isolate, physically distance themselves from household members and call 811 to arrange testing. These workers must now complete the full 14-day self-isolation period, regardless of their test result.

To date, 145,054 people have been tested, including 659 since Thursday's update.

AstraZeneca-Oxford doses to be used elsewhere

Meanwhile, 1,400 doses of nearly expired AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine sent back to the federal government will be relocated to jurisdictions moving ahead with second dose administration plans, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. 

PHAC said it's working across jurisdictions to ensure that as many of those doses as possible will be used.

"Should we arrive at expiry dates, then the remaining doses will be disposed of in accordance with the public health best practices," said Brig.-Gen. Krista Brodie, PHAC vice-president of logistics and operations, and head of logistics for the federal government vaccine rollout.

"We'll report those centrally and monitor that closely to ensure that we're maximizing the number of doses that are used to immunize Canadians."

Brodie said PHAC doesn't report on specific provinces and territories that may have also returned AstraZeneca-Oxford doses.

"Once we roll past expiry dates and are in a position to report, then by all means, we'll do so in the spirit of transparency. But at this time, we're still rolling towards the first of the AstraZeneca expiry dates of concern," Brodie said.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador