N.L. reports 5 new cases of COVID-19, bringing active cases to 18
6th case reported in Grand Bank this week
There are five new cases of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador on Saturday, bringing the number of active cases in the province to 18.
It's the largest single-day increase in cases in the province since April 16.
One of the new positive cases is a male tenant of Blue Crest Cottages in Grand Bank, a close contact of a previously announced case. The new case Saturday brings the number of connected cases in the community to six.
There are two new cases in the Eastern Health region. One is a man between the ages of 20 and 39 and the other is a woman between 50 and 59. Both are residents of the province and are close contacts of the case announced on Friday related to travel from Nova Scotia.
There are also two new cases in the Western Health region: a woman under 20 years of age and a woman between 40 and 49. Both are residents of the province and are close contacts of the case announced in that region on Friday.
Public health officials are still investigating the source of infection for the initial case announced in the western region on Friday. The department says it will release more information as it becomes available.
All new cases are in self-isolation with contact tracing underway.
One person is in hospital due to the virus on Saturday, with 294 people having recovered since the pandemic began. Four people have died as a result of the virus since March.
In all, 58,601 people have been tested for the virus — up 271 in the last 24 hours.
As part of the release, public health officials recommended against non-essential travel.
Officials are also advising the public that essential travellers entering Nova Scotia must follow all public health guidelines, such as avoiding gatherings, frequent hand washing and wearing a mask as needed. The provincial government also said those travelling through the Atlantic bubble should be aware of possible exposures in certain locations.
People should also self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for the first 14 days after arriving back in Newfoundland and Labrador from Nova Scotia, avoid crowds and not attend gatherings outside their household bubble.
"Public health officials in this province have been in communication with public health officials in Nova Scotia, and continue to closely monitor the situation within the Atlantic region," the Health Department said in its release.
"If the situation changes, further measures may need to be implemented by public health."
Media briefing to be held Monday
As part of a separate news release issued Saturday afternoon, the Department of Health announced its next COVID-19 briefing will be held on Monday at 12:30 p.m.
Premier Andrew Furey, Health Minister John Haggie and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald will "make announcements on COVID-19" during the briefing, according to the release.
It's not clear yet what the subject of Monday's announcements will be, but given the recent increase in cases in the province, it's expected that Fitzgerald will address restrictions for rotational workers.
With a recent case connected to travel from Nova Scotia, the premier may also address the Atlantic bubble.
Cases increase in the Atlantic bubble
New Brunswick had its largest single-day increase in cases Saturday since the pandemic began, with 23 new cases. The number of active cases in that province jumps to 71, with one person in hospital.
Eight new cases of COVID-19 were announced Saturday in Nova Scotia, the highest single-day jump in that province since May.
There are now 33 active cases in Nova Scotia, where new restrictions — including limiting gatherings without physical distancing down to five people — are set to come into effect in some areas Monday.
Prince Edward Island had yet to announce any new cases as of 3 p.m. NT Saturday.