Stephen: Schools back in person on Jan 25 as province reports 20 hospitalizations, 2 new deaths

Published on January 20th, 2022 @ 2:11 PM


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Premier Andrew Furey announced today that the province’s K-12 schools will reopen to in-class lessons on Tuesday, January 25th. He said this decision was reached with the confidence of Dr. Fitzgerald and Public Health. In addition, the province announced 20 people now in hospital due to COVID-19, with 2801 known active cases. There are 360 new cases being reported in the province. The province is also reporting two new deaths related to COVID-19, the 29th and 30th in the province due to the virus. The province will remain in Alert Level 4 as the transition back to in-class lessons occurs. Dr. Fitzgerald also announced that, effective midnight on Friday, rapid tests will still be given out to travelers entering Newfoundland & Labrador, however fully-vaccinated travelers can leave isolation after 2 negative results on rapid tests at least 24 hours apart. These travelers will also still need to fulfill the full five day testing schedule.

 

Public advisory:

Today (Thursday, January 20), there are 20 people in hospital because of COVID-19, 16 in non-critical care and four in critical care. There have been 764 new recoveries – 610 in the Eastern Health region, 32 in the Central Health region, 24 in the Western Health region, 87 in the Labrador-Grenfell region and 11 unknown RHA, and 11,358 people have recovered.

Newfoundland and Labrador has 360 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the last update on January 19. Anyone who has tested positive must follow guidelines as outlined here. Cases are advised to notify contacts as per instructions on the website.

The breakdown of the 360 cases is as follows:

·         Eastern Health region – 212

·         Central Health region – 63

·         Western Health region – 57

·         Labrador-Grenfell Health region – 23

·         Unknown RHA – 5

There are currently 2,801 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. The regional breakdown of the active cases is as follows:

·         Eastern Health – 1,990

·         Central Health – 288

·         Labrador-Grenfell Health – 121

·         Western Health – 357

·         Unknown RHA – 45

A total of 1,462 tests were completed since yesterday. To date, 462,544 tests have been administered. People can check their COVID-19 test results online here.

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting its twenty-ninth and thirtieth deaths from COVID-19. The individuals, a male in the Western Health region and a male in the Eastern Health region, were 70 years of age and above. The department is sending its condolences to the families of these individuals and asks everyone to respect the families’ privacy at this time.

All of Newfoundland and Labrador is in modified Alert Level 4. This Alert Level will be reassessed again on January 24, 2022. Information on Alert Level 4 can be found here.

Public Health has also revised isolation and testing requirements for people who have COVID-19 and their close contacts. A flowchart with instructions for close contacts can be found here.

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.

Anyone testing positive on a rapid test should consider themselves a positive case and follow public health direction. They no longer need PCR testing to confirm. 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.

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.

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.

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

Effective Monday, January 24, 2022, changes will come into effect in Newfoundland and Labrador on how asymptomatic contacts of cases are managed.

Effective Monday:

·       If a school-aged child that is not fully vaccinated is a non-household contact to a case AND that child does not have symptoms, they can return to school BUT must isolate when not attending school for 10 days;

·       If a household member of a child that is not fully vaccinated has COVID-19, the child is a high risk contact and must fully isolate for 10 days before returning to school;

·       Anyone fully vaccinated and asymptomatic who is a non-household contact can proceed to work/school but must isolate at all times when not at work for seven days. There are also high risk situations where this will not apply, such as those that work with vulnerable individuals; and

·       Anyone asymptomatic and fully vaccinated that has a person with COVID-19 in their home must fully isolate for seven days before returning to work/school.

Parents/guardians are also asked not to bring together students from their child’s class, unless they are in each other’s tight 10. In an effort to minimize risk in schools as much as possible, informal gatherings such as birthday parties outside of school are considered to be higher risk for transmission.

There are no changes to isolation requirements for anyone with symptoms. If you are a high risk or moderate contact and symptomatic, you are considered to have COVID-19.

People that live in the same household as a person that has COVID-19 are considered high risk, regardless of whether the individual with COVID-19 is isolating away or not. This also includes sexual partners and couples that do not live together. Non-household contacts are considered moderate risk. Complete the Self-Isolation Assessment Tool for guidance on self-isolation and testing if you are unsure of your requirements.

Adjustments are also being made to restrictions for travellers. Effective midnight Friday, January 21, 2022, anyone entering the province will still be given a package of five take-home rapid tests; however, they can leave isolation after receiving negative results from two rapid tests taken 24 hours apart. There is a requirement to continue testing for the remaining three days after leaving isolation.

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