Stephen: 27 new cases of COVID-19, now 154 active cases

Published on December 20th, 2021 @ 3:21 PM


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Newfoundland and Labrador has 27 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the last media update on December 19. Contact tracing by Public Health is underway and anyone considered a close contact has been advised regarding quarantine according to current guidelines.

In the Eastern Health region:

  • Three between 20-39 years of age; and
  • One between 40-49 years of age.

There is one female and three males. Two are contacts of previously known cases and two are under investigation.

In the Central Health region:

  • One under 20 years of age;
  • Eight between 20-39 years of age; and
  • One 70 years of age and above.

There are five females and five males. All are contacts of previously known cases.

In the Western Health region:

  • Six under 20 years of age;
  • Three between 20-39 years of age;
  • One between 40-49 years of age; and
  • Three between 60-69 years of age.

There are eight females and five males. Nine are contacts of previously known cases and four are under investigation.

There have been no new recoveries, and 2,061 people have recovered. There is no one in hospital because of COVID-19.

There are currently 154 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. The regional breakdown of the active cases is as follows:

  • Eastern Health – 39
  • Central Health – 47
  • Labrador-Grenfell Health – 1
  • Western Health – 67

To date, 362,655 tests have been administered. People can check their COVID-19 test results online here.

As part of the ongoing investigations into recent cases, Public Health is asking anyone who visited several locations, listed on the COVID-19 website here, to arrange COVID-19 testing. To arrange testing, complete the online self-assessment and referral tool available here or call 811.

People who visited these locations and currently have symptoms of COVID-19 are required to isolate until 24 hours after their symptoms resolve and they receive a negative test result. People who visited these locations and do not currently have symptoms of COVID-19 are not required to isolate until they receive a negative test result. While awaiting their test result, they should monitor for symptoms and isolate should any symptoms develop.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever, including chills or sweats;
  • A new or worsening cough;
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing;
  • Runny, stuffy or congested nose;
  • Sore throat or difficulty swallowing;
  • Headache;
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste;
  • Unusual fatigue or lack of energy;
  • New onset of muscle aches;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Vomiting or diarrhea for more than 24 hours; and,
  • Small red or purple spots on hands and/or feet.

Anyone in the province, regardless of their vaccination status, should get tested if they are experiencing even just one of the symptoms of COVID-19 listed above. Do not assume it is just a cold. There has been community spread and outbreaks across the country because people were mildly symptomatic and did not get tested or limit their activity. It is essential to find any cases of COVID-19, so that Public Health can do their job effectively and contain the spread of the virus as much as possible.

Wearing a face mask that covers the nose and mouth is required in public indoor settings for everyone ages five and over. Information on the Public Health guidance on masks can be found at www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/public-health-guidance/guidance/masks/.

All travelers coming to Newfoundland and Labrador, including Newfoundland and Labrador residents, are required to fill out a travel form found here. The travel form can be completed up to 30 days prior to the travel date. Please submit proof of your COVID-19 vaccination by uploading it to your form. Further information for those travelling to the province, including isolation and testing requirements, can be found here.

Anyone who visited a post-secondary institution elsewhere in Canada or internationally in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Newfoundland and Labrador will be required to have a PCR test upon arrival to the province. These travellers can book a PCR test through the online assessment and referral tool on the COVID-19 website. If these travellers opt not to be tested, they will need to isolate for 14 days.

The Provincial Government has put extra precautions in place for those who are most vulnerable. A maximum of two people at a time will be permitted to visit their loved ones in long-term care or personal care homes. These can be different people for each visit.

Changes are being made to guidance for case and contact management. Anyone that has been identified as a close contact of a case and who is fully vaccinated must isolate for seven days. This is a temporary measure, recognizing that our province is in the early stages of dealing with the Omicron variant.

The required interval for booster doses has been reduced to 22 weeks. This applies to everyone aged 18 and older. The province is expecting increased vaccine supply and appointments will open up as soon as these are distributed to clinics, pharmacies, physicians and nurse practitioners.

Effective December 20, the communities of Badger, Gander, Grand Falls-Windsor and Twillingate have moved into Alert Level 3. Under Alert Level 3:

  • It is recommended to avoid travel in and out of the region unless it is for essential reasons such as work or medical care.
  • Weddings, funerals, burials, religious and cultural ceremonies are limited to 100 people or 50 per cent of venue capacity, whichever is less where NLVaxPass is in place and 25 per cent capacity where NLVaxPass is not in place.
  • Public visitations are permitted, with one household bubble visiting at a time. Wakes are prohibited.
  • Performance spaces, cinemas and bingo halls are closed.
  • Informal gatherings such as those in the home are limited to your household’s Steady 20.
  • Restaurants are open at 50 per cent capacity with physical distancing. Bars and lounges are closed.
  • Amateur sport and recreation activities are limited to team practice and training only. Competition and training with other teams, even within the association is not permitted.
  • Work from home is recommended, where possible.

Effective today, December 20, the remainder of the province will move to Alert Level 2. Under Alert Level 2:

  • Weddings, funerals, burials, religious and cultural ceremonies are limited to 50 per cent venue capacity where NLVaxPass is in place and 25 per cent capacity where NLVaxPass is not in place.
  • Spectators and attendees at fitness facilities, arenas, performance spaces, cinemas, and bingo halls are limited to 50 per cent venue capacity.
  • Bars and lounges are limited to 50 per cent capacity with physical distancing.
  • Restaurants are limited to 75 per cent capacity with physical distancing.
  • Out-of-region individual and group travel for amateur sport, arts and recreation activities, such as competitions and training camps, is not permitted.
  • Tournaments are also not permitted, including those that do and do not involve out-of-region travel.
  • Employees are also encouraged to work from home where possible.
  • There are no changes to informal gatherings such as those in a home. These remain limited to a maximum of 25 people.

All fully vaccinated travellers arriving in Newfoundland and Labrador after 3:00 p.m. on December 21, 2021 will need to isolate for five days upon arrival. The day of arrival in the province counts as ‘Day 0’. They will need to take a rapid test every day for five days and, if they are all negative, they can leave isolation after five full days or 120 hours have passed since their arrival.

Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travellers will also be provided with rapid test kits at their point of entry. Completing the rapid tests is voluntary but strongly recommended for these travellers. Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travellers will still be required to quarantine and test as they have previously.

Anyone arriving in the province that has visited a post-secondary campus outside the province in the last 14 days and who is fully vaccinated must abide by these new isolation requirements and are also required to have an arrival PCR test. If both the PCR test and five rapid tests are negative, they can leave isolation after five full days have passed.

Children between ages five and 11 that are not fully vaccinated and are travelling with parents or guardians that are fully vaccinated, will also need to self-isolate for five days and complete five rapid tests. After five days, they will then follow modified self-isolation until 14 days have passed. It is not mandatory for children under five to have a test, as long as the parents or guardians take their rapid tests. They can leave full isolation with their parents and continue on modified self-isolation until 14 days have passed.

Rotational workers that are fully vaccinated will need to book a PCR test between days 0-3, take a rapid test each day for five days, and can follow modified self-isolation for five days. Provided their rapid tests are negative, they can end modified self-isolation on day five.

Unvaccinated travellers must still isolate until they receive a negative PCR test on day seven or later, and are then subject to modified self-isolation for the remaining 14 days.

More details on current travel restrictions can be viewed here.

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