N.L. announces 7 new cases of COVID-19, with potential exposures at Costco, Sobeys

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Nearly 270,000 COVID-19 tests have now been completed in Newfoundland and Labrador, as the province reported seven new confirmed cases on Friday. (Colleen Connors/CBC - image credit)
Nearly 270,000 COVID-19 tests have now been completed in Newfoundland and Labrador, as the province reported seven new confirmed cases on Friday. (Colleen Connors/CBC - image credit)
Colleen Connors/CBC
Colleen Connors/CBC

Newfoundland and Labrador reported seven new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, marking the highest disclosure of new cases in six weeks.

According to a media release from the Department of Health, there are two cases in the Eastern Health region, one in the Central Health region, one in the Western Health region and three in the Labrador-Grenfell Health region. One of the new confirmed cases in Labrador was presumed positive on Wednesday.

Five of the seven cases are related to travel within Canada: two in the Eastern Health region, one in the Central Health Region and two in the Labrador-Grenfell region.

The other case in the Labrador-Grenfell region is a close contact of a previous case, while the case in the Western Health region is under investigation.

The province also reported six recoveries in the Eastern Health region, leaving 14 active cases.

The Department of Health said contact tracing by public health is underway and anyone considered a close contact has been advised to quarantine under current provincial guidelines.

There is no one in hospital due to COVID-19.

Possible exposures at Costco and Paradise Sobeys

Following Friday's update, Public Health noted a potential COVID-19 exposure at businesses in St. John's and Paradise.

Public Health is advising anyone who visited Costco in St. John's on Sunday between 1 and 2 p.m., or the Sobeys at 1621 Topsail Rd. in Paradise on Tuesday between 5 and 5:30 p.m. to be tested for COVID-19.

Anyone who visited the businesses during this time and has symptoms of COVID-19 must self-isolate until 24 hours after their symptoms resolve and they receive a negative test result.

Ryan Cooke/CBC
Ryan Cooke/CBC

Public Health also warned the virus that causes COVID-19 has been found in wastewater testing in the Paradise area.

"While this result is not a cause for alarm, it indicates for Public Health that the COVID-19 virus is in the area. This is why it is important for residents in this area to get tested if you experience one of the symptoms of COVID-19 that are listed," says the media release from the Department of Health.

Wastewater in the province has been tested for COVID-19 since February, according to the department.

The province is also advising anyone who travelled in the seating area of Deck 7 on the MV Blue Puttees night crossing on Aug. 19 to arrange for testing. People who travelled in the cabin area or other parts of the ship do not need to get tested.

Passengers do not need to isolate themselves unless they are experiencing symptoms. Any passengers experiencing symptoms are asked to self-isolate until they receive a negative result.

Emma Grunwald/CBC
Emma Grunwald/CBC

To date, 269,142 tests have been administered, including 693 since Wednesday's update.

Nearly 74 per cent of the province's eligible population has received two doses of vaccine, and nearly 86 per cent has received at least one.

Western Health is holding a sensory-friendly vaccine clinic at Valley Mall in Corner Brook from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, with reduced capacity, low lighting and less noise.

Eastern Health has announced another pop-up vaccination clinic at the downtown St. John's pedestrian mall from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. The clinic will offer first and second doses, and appointments are not required.

Ferries lift COVID capacity

Meanwhile, the government announced the province's ferries will return to full capacity.

Ferries have faced capacity restrictions since the beginning of the pandemic, going as low as 50 per cent capacity early on.

Restrictions have eased over time since then, with ferries being able to operate at 85 per cent capacity as of May.

Canteen services will also be able to resume on ferries, according to a media release issued Friday.

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