Nfld. & Labrador

1 person in hospital as N.L. reports 2 new cases of COVID-19

Newfoundland and Labrador has two new travel-related cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, including one connected to Nalcor's Soldiers Pond worksite.

Hospitalization first in province in 5 months

A person has been hospitalized due to COVID-19, the Department of Health said Sunday, for the first time in five months. (CBC)

There are two new cases of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador on Sunday — one in the Eastern Health region and one in the Central Health region — and a person is in hospital due to the virus for the first time in five months.

According to the Department of Health's media release on Sunday, there are now 10 active cases in the province, but it's not clear which of the active cases are in hospital. There hasn't been a person in hospital related to COVID-19 in the province since June 15. 

The new case in the Eastern Health region is a man between 40 and 49 years old who travelled from Russia to work at Nalcor's Soldiers Pond site as part of the Lower Churchill project, according to the Health Department. The site is approximately 35 kilometres west of St. John's.

Public health officials have been in contact with Nalcor Energy about the case. According to the Department of Health, the man has been following public health guidelines since his arrival and has been self-isolating while not at work.

In a press release, Nalcor said the man received an exemption from the provincial government to work at the Soldiers Pond site and has been following protocols put in place by public health, including self-Isolating in St. John's when not at work.

The man has also followed all worksite isolation protocols, according to Nalcor, and is not believed to have had close contact with other individuals while at work.

The company said because of the health and safety protocols in place at Soldiers Pond, it is believed the risk to other individuals working there is low.

Newfoundland and Labrador reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, including one at Nalcor's Soldiers Pond site. (Terry Roberts/CBC)

"Nalcor has established stringent health and safety measures at all its worksites to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. The area where this individual worked has been closed off and our cleaning protocols have been activated," the company said. 

"Work in one building at the site has been stopped while cleaning is completed."

Nalcor said the man arrived at the Soldiers Pond site on Tuesday and worked in isolation for two night shifts that day and on Thursday. The company said he did not show any symptoms during either shift.

On Friday, the man was notified of a positive COVID-19 test of a family member in Russia. Nalcor said the man tested positive for COVID-19 through testing done by a private laboratory. The test result was confirmed by public health.

Nalcor said it has advised workers at the site of the positive case and is working with public health to identify possible close contacts.

"Out of an abundance of caution, for all other workers from the Soldiers Pond site, private testing can be arranged by Nalcor for individuals who are concerned about their possible exposure," the company's media release said.

2nd new case related to travel from Alberta

The new case in Central Health is a man between 20 and 39 years old. The case is travel-related, as the man returned home from work in Alberta.

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

The province's total number of cases is now 303, with 289 people having recovered. 

In total, 56,662 people have been tested in the province as of Sunday, including 186 in the last day.

Sunday's cases bump the weekend total to four, as one new case was reported in the Western Health region Saturday, connected to another recent case in that area, while another case was reported in the Eastern Health region.

There have been four deaths related to COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador since March. 

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