Here's what N.L.'s modified Alert Level 4 looks like
Alert level will be reassessed in 2 weeks, says Dr. Janice Fitzgerald
Newfoundland and Labrador is back in Alert Level 4 of its COVID-19 pandemic response but it looks a little different from the last time the province was in it, last February.
The modified version of Alert Level 4 was announced by Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald on Monday, the same day the province reported a record 519 new cases of COVID-19 in a single day.
The changes come in the size of gatherings and the number of people allowed at informal gatherings, said Fitzgerald, who added the goal is to try to limit the number of contacts to positive cases while watching hospitalization rates in the coming weeks.
Until the change is reassessed on Jan. 17, here's how things will look across the province.
As part of the modified Alert Level 4, Fitzgerald says residents are asked to keep a "Tight 10 "— a group of 10 close, consistent contacts from outside a household bubble, such as grandparents or close friends. Fitzgerald stressed contacts should be kept as low as possible and to remember that the people in someone's Tight 10 will have Tight 10s of their own.
While informal gatherings are limited to a person's tight 10, formal gatherings — such as weddings, funerals, burials and religious and cultural ceremonies — are limited to 50 people or 25 per cent capacity, whichever is less, and physical distancing must be maintained.
The use of dance floors is prohibited, except for cultural dances.
Public visitations can continue under Alert Level 4, with one household bubble visiting at a time, while wakes are prohibited.
Recreation and businesses
Retail stores, including those in shopping malls, can stay open with reduced capacity and physical distancing. Personal-care establishments, including hair salons and spas, can also stay open.
Restaurants can open to in-person dining to 50 per cent capacity as long as physical distancing can be maintained between tables. Only six people are allowed to a table, and buffets are prohibited.
Bars, lounges, movie theatres and bingo halls remain closed.
Businesses like gyms and fitness facilities, yoga studios, swimming pools, tennis and squash courts and arenas follow the rules of formal gatherings: no more than 50 people or 25 per cent capacity, whichever is less.
Group and team sport activities are suspended, along with arts and recreation activities. Performance spaces are also closed.
There is no change to child-care services, which can operate at full capacity.
Private health-care clinics can open in accordance with public health guidelines.
Visitor restrictions at hospitals, long-term care centres and other health-care facilities are in place across the province, with guidelines in place for support persons and designated visitors.