Stephen: Province announces 503 new cases, K-12 classes staying virtual next week

Published on January 6th, 2022 @ 2:25 PM


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The NL COVID-19 Data hub is reporting 503 new cases in the province today. There are currently 4059 active cases with 4 people in hospital. The region-by-region breakdown is as follows:

  • Eastern Health – 2,495
  • Central Health – 423
  • Western Health – 329
  • Labrador-Grenfell Health – 784

Public advisory:

Today (Thursday, January 6), Newfoundland and Labrador has 503 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the last media update on January 5. 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:

  • Thirty-six under 20 years of age;
  • Ninety-four between 20-39 years of age;
  • Forty-three between 40-49 years of age;
  • Twenty-eight between 50-59 years of age;
  • Twenty-one between 60-69 years of age; and
  • Nineteen 70 years of age and above.

There are 133 females and 108 males. All are under investigation.

In the Central Health region:

  • Twenty-one under 20 years of age;
  • Twenty-five between 20-39 years of age;
  • Thirty-one between 40-49 years of age;
  • Twenty-nine between 50-59 years of age;
  • Twenty-eight between 60-69 years of age; and
  • Twenty 70 years of age and above.

There are 91 females and 63 males. All are under investigation.

In the Western Health region:

  • Six under 20 years of age;
  • Fifteen between 20-39 years of age;
  • Six between 40-49 years of age;
  • Six between 50-59 years of age;
  • Four between 60-69 years of age; and
  • Four 70 years of age and above.

There are 20 females and 21 males. All are under investigation.

In the Labrador-Grenfell Health region:

  • Nine under 20 years of age;
  • Twenty-two between 20-39 years of age;
  • Seven between 40-49 years of age;
  • Fifteen between 50-59 years of age;
  • Two between 60-69 years of age; and
  • Four 70 years of age and above.

There are 31 females and 28 males. All are under investigation.

There are also eight cases that are the result of testing completed by a private lab outside of a Regional Health Authority:

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

There are four females and four males. All are under investigation.

There have been 109 new recoveries – 21 in the Eastern Health region, 63 in the Central Health region, 23 in the Western Health region and 2 in the Labrador-Grenfell region, and 2,971 people have recovered. There are four people in hospital because of COVID-19.

There are currently 4,059 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. The regional breakdown of the active cases is as follows:

  • Eastern Health – 2,495
  • Central Health – 423
  • Labrador-Grenfell Health – 329
  • Western Health – 784
  • Unknown – 28

To date, 415,713 tests have been administered. People can check their COVID-19 test results online here.

All of Newfoundland and Labrador is now in Alert Level 4. This Alert Level will be reassessed on January 17, 2022.

Under Level 4:

·       Your household can interact with your Tight 10 – up to 10 close, consistent contacts from outside your household. Informal gatherings are limited to only those in your Tight 10.

·       Gatherings at funerals, burials, weddings, and religious and cultural ceremonies are limited to no more than 50 people or 25 per cent capacity, whichever is less. Physical distancing must be maintained between bubbles.

·       Dancing at formal gatherings is prohibited, except for ceremonial dances.

·       Public visitations are permitted, with one household bubble visiting at a time. Wakes are prohibited.

·       Gym and fitness facilities, yoga studios, swimming pools, tennis and squash facilities, arenas, and dance studios are permitted to open, with a maximum capacity of 50 people or 25 per cent capacity per room or ice surface, whichever is less. Physical distancing between households must be maintained.

·       Group and team sport, arts and recreation activities are suspended.

·       Retail stores, including those in shopping malls, can open at reduced capacity with physical distancing.

·       Restaurants can open for in-person dining at 50 per cent capacity as long as physical distancing can be maintained between patrons seated at adjacent tables. There is a maximum of six people per table. Buffets are prohibited.

There are no changes for:

·       Child care services, which can operate at full capacity;

·       Personal service establishments, including spas, esthetic services, hair salons, body piercing, tattooing and tanning salons, which can remain open in accordance with guidelines; and

·       Bars, lounges, performance spaces, cinemas, and bingo halls, which remain closed.

Public Health is also revising the criteria for PCR testing. Currently, the demand for testing is exceeding processing capacity in the public health laboratory. This means that individuals are waiting longer for test results and the data needed to assess the outbreak is not as timely as is preferred.

Effective immediately, anyone that is a close contact of a case and has symptoms of COVID-19, should consider themselves a positive case and follow public health direction. They do not need any testing to confirm. Employers are asked not to require a PCR test for this category of individuals. Public health direction for positive cases can be found here.

PCR tests are still recommended for anyone that is a close contact and does not have symptoms, and anyone that has symptoms but has not been identified as a close contact of someone that tested positive for COVID-19.

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.

Due to the extremely high volume of testing currently underway in all regions, there may be some delay in contacting individuals testing positive with COVID-19. Positive test results are now provided through the online Patient Results Portal. Patients testing positive will still be contacted by a representative from Public Health, but it may take up to 72 hours. If you see a positive test result, guidance can be found here.

In an effort to expedite contact notification, people who test positive for COVID-19 will be given a letter to send to their close contacts. This letter will include detailed instructions on self-isolation and testing requirements. If you are a close contact and have symptoms, you should follow the public health direction for positive cases found here.

Our Self-Isolation Assessment Tool can help you determine if you need to self-isolate or get tested. However, you should always follow the advice given to you when contacted by public health officials.

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/. In places where masks are not required, wearing a mask is strongly recommended, even when seated and/or physically distanced from other people.

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. Further information for those travelling to the province, including isolation and testing requirements, can be found here.

All fully vaccinated travellers arriving in Newfoundland and Labrador 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. Travellers are legally required to complete these rapid tests, and to be most effective, they must be used each day.

Anyone arriving in the province by motor vehicle or rail from the province of Québec can obtain their rapid test kits at either the Wabush or Happy Valley-Goose Bay airports. These travellers will be asked to show their Travel Form reference number.

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

Public Health is also advising of a correction made to Labrador case data in the provincial COVID-19 data hub. Cases in Central Labrador were incorrectly reported under Zone 11. The hub was updated January 3, 2022, so that cases in Central Labrador are correctly captured under Zone 12. The department apologizes for any confusion this error may have caused.

Please continue following the proven Public Health measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For the most up-to-date information related to COVID-19, please visit www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19.

 

Classes for the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District (NLESD) and the Conseil Scolaire Francophone Provincial (CSFP) will remain virtual next week (January 10-14). A further update will be provided no later than Thursday, January 13 on the following week. Since the initial announcement of a return to virtual learning, the entire province has moved to Alert Level 4. The Department of Education and the school districts are working with public health to monitor the risk level, with a view to resuming in-person classes at the earliest possible opportunity.

The Departments of Education and Health and Community Services are working with the NLESD to coordinate distribution of COVID-19 rapid tests to all schools in both districts throughout the province over the coming days. It is anticipated that rapid testing will play a role in the resumption of classes in the coming weeks, as well as for the ongoing operations of schools going forward. Details on how these tests will be used are still being finalized, and the department expects to provide an update with further details next week.

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