Nfld. & Labrador

1 new case of COVID-19 as Eastern Health opens temporary testing clinic

An unusually late regular update from the Department of Health is placing the number of active cases in the province at 16.

Delayed update from public health puts active cases at 16

Eastern Health opened a new temporary testing clinic in St. John's on Sunday afternoon to 'meet demand.' (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press file photo)

A female under 19 is the latest person to contract COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador, health officials said Sunday.

In an unusually late release, the Department of Health said the source of the new case is under investigation. 

Eastern Health said in a release Sunday that it opened a temporary drive-thru testing clinic at 50 Mundy Pond Rd. to "meet demand," one day after the Health Department asked anyone who ate at a Mount Pearl restaurant over the span of two weeks to schedule a test.

Hours for drive-thru clinics at the Janeway and Waterford hospitals have also been extended, the health authority said.

Public health officials are still asking anyone who worked at or visited the Bigs Restaurant in Mount Pearl between Jan. 21 and Feb. 4 to arrange for testing, but have now said the risk for those patrons is low.

Anyone who develops or has had COVID-19 symptoms in the last two weeks must self-isolate while waiting for a negative test result, the department said. 

Those who visited the restaurant between those dates should get tested, but those who are symptom-free are not required to isolate.

Due to a case reported Saturday in the Western Health region, officials are also asking anyone aboard Air Canada Flight 7484 from Toronto to Deer Lake that arrived on Jan. 30 to call 811 to arrange COVID-19 testing.

Impromptu briefing on Monday morning

The Health Department wouldn't give a specific reason for Sunday's update delay, but said in a statement that the situation with COVID-19 "is a fluid one that is constantly evolving and changing."

"It is paramount that when we release information it is as fulsome and accurate as possible. This can sometimes take time," the statement said.

A spokesperson for the department said public health apologizes for the delay and wants to "assure everyone that we are working tirelessly to ensure information is delivered in an accurate and timely manner."

The department also announced an unplanned media briefing on Monday morning. It said details related to that briefing are forthcoming.

The province has 16 active cases of COVID-19, with two new recoveries since Saturday's update. There is no one in hospital.

Officials are continuing to investigate the source of a six-person cluster in the Eastern Health region.

To date, 82,037 people have been tested.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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