Nfld. & Labrador

1 new case of COVID in N.L., after Health Department initially announces no new cases

After a spate of new cases in the past two weeks, a seniors' home in Lewisporte is closing to visitors as a precaution.

Seniors' home in Lewisporte closing to visitors after recent spate of new cases

Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. (Guy Leblanc/Radio-Canada)

There is one new case of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador on Thursday, although earlier in the day the Department of Health reported there were no new cases.

The new confirmed case is a male in the Western Health region between 40 and 49 years old, a close contact of a previous case in the area.

"The individual is a member of the same extended household," said the Department of Health in a press release late Thursday afternoon.

"Because this individual was identified previously as a close contact of a previous case, he was already in quarantine throughout the infectious period. This means there is no risk of transmission to the community."

Contact tracing by public health is completed, said the health department. Everyone considered a close contact has been advised to quarantine.

With a recent stretch of new cases in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Pleasantview Manor in Lewisporte has decided to close its doors to visitation until further notice. 

Owner Rhonda Simms told CBC Radio's Newfoundland Morning on Wednesday the facility is home to more than 90 residents, and each resident can have up to six visitors. 

"That would mean an influx of a possibility of close to 600 people walking through our home, and we just didn't want to take that chance right now, with the risk of [those cases] being so close," she said. 

There is one active case in the Central Health region of the province, where Pleasantview Manor is located. In the nearby Western Health region there are six active cases, while the Eastern Health region and Labrador-Grenfell Health region have one case apiece.

Simms said the residents and their relatives that she has spoken to support the lockdown, which was ushered in on Tuesday.

"It's just a temporary decision," she said. 

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald said on Wednesday new information regarding a case in the Central Health region has public health looking for more close contacts of the case during their infectious period. (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador)

Window visitations are still permitted, Simms said, along with Skype calls and phone calls. 

"We do understand the mental health of our seniors is the most important," she said.

"Our staff has gone above and beyond with taking care of the residents, keeping them busy, keeping them active."

During Wednesday's live COVID-19 briefing Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald said further contact tracing was ongoing with Central Health's latest case after new information prompted further investigation. 

Simms said they'll keep the lockdown in place until public health says contact tracing has been completed. 

"If we don't have any new cases within the next week we'll definitely be open," Simms said.  

The province's caseload moves to 284, with 271 recoveries and four deaths. There are nine active cases. 

In total, 47,753 people have been tested for the virus as of Thursday, according to the Department of Health, including 387 people in the last day.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Newfoundland Morning


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