2 more travel-related COVID-19 cases in N.L.

·2 min read
Public health measures, like mask-wearing, are still crucial to fighting COVID-19, stresses chief medical officers, even as vaccines roll out.  (John Pike/CBC - image credit)
Public health measures, like mask-wearing, are still crucial to fighting COVID-19, stresses chief medical officers, even as vaccines roll out. (John Pike/CBC - image credit)

Another two people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador, and both are related to travel.

The first case is a man in the Eastern Health region between the ages of 20 and 39, who returned from international travel.

The second case is also a man in the Eastern Health region, between the ages of 40 and 49, who travelled within Canada.

Contact tracing is underway. Anyone who is considered a close contact will be asked to quarantine.

There are two people in hospital.

There are also two new recoveries since Wednesday, leaving 27 active cases of COVID-19 in the province.

Because of Thursday's new cases, public health says anyone who flew on Air Canada Flight 2016 from Montreal to St. John's on Wednesday, April 28, should call 811 and arrange COVID-19 testing.

Thursday's figures were released via email, which is regular practice, with in-person briefings happening usually only on Wednesdays.

At Wednesday's update, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald said that while many of the province's recent cases have been related to travel or close contacts of previous cases, most are also variants of the virus. So far this month, 83 per cent of samples tested positive for a variant of concern.

The cases include nine of the B117 variant, first identified in the United Kingdom, five cases of B1351, which was first found in South Africa, and one case of P1, first found in Brazil. Fitzgerald said the province has also identified the first case of B1617, which was discovered in India.

Bubble backburner

The Atlantic bubble is no longer at the forefront for the Atlantic provinces, as several of them deal with soaring case counts.

A press release from the Council of Atlantic Premiers issued Wednesday night said the four premiers met by teleconference to discuss the outbreaks underway within the region.

"Premiers agreed that recent outbreaks of COVID-19, accelerated by emerging variants of concern, have made it necessary to maintain restrictions on non-essential travel within the Atlantic region," the release read.

The provincial leaders had initially planned to open the bubble on April 19, and then pushed that date to May 3, based on regional case numbers.

On Thursday, Nova Scotia reported 70 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total active caseload up to 548. Fourteen people are in hospital, including four in the intensive care unit (ICU). The province is in a two-week lockdown.

As of Thursday, New Brunswick reported 118 active cases, with four people in hospital and two in intensive care. As of its latest figures available Wednesday, P.E.I. had 11 active cases.

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