Stephen: CMO announces first omicron case in NL, along with 13 new cases

Published on December 15th, 2021 @ 2:14 PM


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There are 13 new cases of COVID-19 in NL today. 9 of them are located in the Western Health region. There are also 8 new presumptive positive cases. Dr. Janice Fitzgerald confirmed today that the province has its first case of the omicron variant. This case is in the Eastern Health region and is related to travel within Canada. The individual has been isolating and Public Health does not anticipate any onward spread.

Effective immediately, travelers returning to the province from post-secondary institutes anywhere must complete a PCR test upon arrival. This test can be booked in advance. Travelers will also be given rapid test kits. The province is looking into the logistics of implementing rapid testing, potentially as soon as this weekend. The CMO also revealed that effective immediately, long term care patients will be limited to 2 visitors at a time. It does not have to be the same 2 every time.

In his first appearance at a COVID briefing since the unveiling of the Vax Pass on September 27th, Premier Andrew Furey said that the omicron variant requires adjustments and the provincial government is reexamining its public health measures. He also shared that the federal government is considering tightening restrictions at the country’s international borders.

 

Public advisory:

Today (Wednesday, December 15), Newfoundland and Labrador has 13 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the last public advisory. 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:

 

  • Two between 20-39 years of age; and
  • One between 60-69 years of age.

 

There is one female and two males. One is a contact of a previously known case and two are travel related.

 

In the Central Health region:

 

  • One between 50-59 years of age.

The case is a male and is under investigation.

 

In the Western Health region:

 

  • Four under 20 years of age;
  • One between 20-39 years of age;
  • One between 40-49 years of age;
  • Two between 50-59 years of age; and
  • One between 60-69 years of age.

 

There are three females and six males. Eight are contacts of previously known cases and one is under investigation.

 

There have been two new recoveries in the Western Health region, and 2,047 people have recovered. There is no one in hospital because of COVID-19.

 

There are currently 34 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. The regional breakdown of the active cases is as follows:

 

  • Eastern Health – 11
  • Central Health – 1
  • Labrador-Grenfell Health – 0
  • Western Health – 22

 

To date, 354,535 tests have been administered. People can check their COVID-19 test results online here.

 

Newfoundland and Labrador has its first confirmed case of the Omicron variant in the province in the Eastern Health region. The individual has been isolating since their return to the province.

 

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 non-medical face mask that covers the nose and mouth is required in public indoor settings for everyone ages 5 and over. Information on the Public Health guidance on masks can be found at https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/public-health-guidance/guidance/masks/.

 

All travellers 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. Anyone partially vaccinated will now have the same requirements as unvaccinated travellers. Further information for those travelling to the province, including isolation and testing requirements, can be found here.

 

Effective immediately, anyone returning, or who has returned, from post-secondary institutions elsewhere in Canada or internationally will be required to have a PCR test upon arrival to the province.

 

Travellers can book a PCR test through the online assessment and referral tool on the COVID website. If travellers opt not to be tested, they will need to isolate for 14 days. In the coming days we will provide all travellers with a package of take-home rapid test kits to screen for COVID-19.Unvaccinated travellers will still be required to quarantine and test as they have previously.

 

The Provincial Government is also putting 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.

 

The most up to date vaccine data and the number of vaccine doses administered is on the provincial COVID-19 data hub. Information on COVID-19 vaccines for Newfoundland and Labrador is available online here. Additional information on the COVID-19 vaccination rollout is on the websites for each of the regional health authorities:

 

Eastern Health
Central Health
Western Health
Labrador-Grenfell Health

 

Please continue following the proven Public Health measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. People are encouraged to download COVID Alert to help reduce the spread of the virus. It is available free through the Apple or Google Play app stores.

For the most up-to-date information related to COVID-19, please visit: www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19.

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