Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting five more people have died from COVID-19, just two days after the province logged zero deaths for the first time in more than a month.
According to data released by the Health Department on Wednesday, three of the deaths were in the Eastern Health region, one was in Central Health and one was in Western Health. Four of them were in their 70s and one was 80 or older. The deaths raise the province's total to 162 since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.
The number of people in hospital has dropped since the province's last update on Monday, down to their lowest level since March 6.
There are now 17 people in hospital, down from 24 on Monday. Five of the cases are in critical care.
Public Health is also reporting 207 new cases of COVID-19 in the province: 114 on Tuesday and 93 on Wednesday. That number, though, is not an accurate reflection of the spread of the virus in Newfoundland and Labrador because of provincial testing restrictions and a lack of data on how much testing is being done.
Meanwhile, the Health Department is refusing to answer questions about a call to make rapid tests more readily available.
On Monday, the St. John's Status of Women Council released a letter from 34 community groups and health-care providers in Newfoundland and Labrador, saying provincial options for obtaining a COVID-19 rapid antigen test are not equitable or sustainable.
Newfoundland and Labrador is one of just of a few provinces in Canada that don't widely distribute COVID-19 rapid tests for free.
CBC News asked for an interview with Health Minister John Haggie to answer questions about the letter, but was told by departmental communications person Laura Thomas he isn't available.