Nfld. & Labrador

N.L. reports 4 new COVID-19 cases as Deer Lake begins to reopen

Three of the cases are in the Eastern Health region, with the fourth located in the Central Health region.

New cases include a female under 19, public health says no risk to schools

More than 64,000 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador, with the province reporting four new cases on Saturday. (Robert Short/CBC)

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting four new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday.

The first case is a female in the Eastern Health region under the age of 19. The case is connected to the second new case, a female in her 20s or 30s, as they are both contacts of a previously known travel-related case.

Both individuals are now in isolation with contact tracing underway. The Department of Health says there is no risk to schools as a result of the two cases.

The third case is also in the Eastern Health region, a woman in her 40s who came to the province from Alberta. The woman is not a resident of the province, and was granted a travel exemption. She is now in isolation with contact tracing underway.

The fourth new case is located in the Central Health region, a woman between the ages of 20 and 39. The source of infection remains under investigation, according to public health.

The new cases bring the province's total number of COVID-19 cases to 347. There are now 26 active cases in the province, with five people recovering since Friday's briefing. No one is in hospital with the virus.

Three of the four new cases Saturday are in the Eastern Health region. (CBC)

In total, 317 people have recovered from the virus, and the province has had four COVID-19-related deaths since March.

Across the province, 64,134 people have now been tested for the virus, up 295 in the past 24 hours.

Public health also provided an update on the sources of infection for two of the cases announced Friday, with both being travel-related.

The first case is a resident of the province who returned from work in Alberta. The second case, a man who is not a resident, came to the province from Africa after being granted a travel exemption.

Following Friday's briefing, the Department of Health issued an advisory related to that day's travel-related case, advising passengers who travelled on WestJet Flight 3428 from Halifax to St. John's on Nov. 26 to call 811 for COVID-19 testing.

Deer Lake begins to reopen

The Hodder Memorial Recreation Complex and many businesses in Deer Lake are reopening Saturday after a cluster led the town to impose restrictions. On Nov. 22, town council asked people to stay home and requested non-essential businesses to close.

Mayor Dean Ball said that decision affected a lot of people and wasn't an easy one to make, but he's confident it was the right choice.

Deer Lake Mayor Dean Ball says shutting the community down for two weeks helped get the cluster under control. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

"I think we're well aware now that it actually worked in our favour by shutting this down sooner and faster," Ball said. 

As young athletes get back to their routines and activities, Ball is reminding families to remain cautious. 

"The parents are anxious to get their children back in minor hockey and figure skating and gymnastics," he said. 

"But right now, the safety aspect to this is heightened to a point that I think there's a new respect for this virus now."

The province's next COVID-19 briefing is scheduled for Monday.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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