Shutdowns across province as N.L. sees 3 new cases of COVID-19 Sunday

·4 min read
Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press
Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press

There are three new cases of COVID-19 being reported in Newfoundland and Labrador on Sunday, marking the sixth consecutive day with new cases reported in the province.

All three reported cases are located in the Western Health region. The first is male resident of the province between the ages of 30 and 39, a member of the same household as a previously reported case.

The second confirmed case is also a resident of the province, a woman between the ages of 60 and 69 who is also a close contact of a previous case.

According to the Department of Health, the two cases are linked to the recent cluster in the region. Both individuals are in isolation with contact tracing underway.

The third positive case is travel-related, a male resident of the province between the ages of 40 and 49 who recently returned from work in Alberta. The case is not linked to the cluster in the region, and the man is in isolation per the protocol for rotational workers.

Cluster grows to 5 cases

Public health recorded six cases of COVID-19 in western Newfoundland over the course of the week, with five of them being connected.

More information is also being provided by public health on a previously reported case on Friday that had an unknown source of infection. The individual was a close contact of a traveller who returned from work in Alberta.

With Sunday's new cases, the number of active cases in the province moves to 21. The total number of cases in the province now sits at 319.

There are now no patients hospitalized with the virus in the province, as the one person in hospital was released this weekend. In all, 294 people have recovered from COVID-19 and four people have died as a result of the virus since the pandemic began in March.

In the past day, 379 people have been tested for the virus across the province, bringing the total to 58,980.

Deer Lake closes town buildings

The Town of Deer Lake is closing its town office and arena for the next two weeks, as a result of what the town says are rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the community.

In a news release issued Saturday evening, the town says the town office and the Hodder Memorial Recreational Complex will close until Dec. 7 in the interest of public safety.

Residents have been asked to stay at home as much as possible and to wear a mask if they must travel in the community. The town is also asking non-essential businesses to cease regular operation until Dec. 7.

The release adds the town has been in contact with Western Health to monitor the ongoing situation, and asked for patience, compassion and kindness as the fight against the virus continues.

Town of Deer Lake
Town of Deer Lake

Officials with the Deer Lake Manor seniors home also posted on social media that the home would be closed to visitors until further notice due to the increase in cases in the town.

Lane's Retirement Living in Irishtown, as well as Lohnes Complex Retirement Home in the Curling area of Corner Brook, also posted on social media that they would be closed to the public.

According to the Department of Health, the decision to close to visitors was made at the businesses' discretion. Public health has offered guidance to the owners of seniors homes in the Western Health region, but has not asked businesses to close because of COVID-19.

The public library in the town will also be closed to the public, including curbside pickup, until Dec. 7.

St. John's restaurant closes

The Bigs Ultimate Sports Grill on Freshwater Road in St. John's has closed as a precaution after a possible COVID-19 exposure at the restaurant.

A spokesperson for The Bigs told CBC News the restaurant was informed late Saturday that a person who tested positive for the virus had been in the restaurant on Monday.

Jeremy Eaton/CBC
Jeremy Eaton/CBC

The spokesperson said the restaurant has followed public health measures and is now awaiting further guidance from public health.

Affected staff are being tested for COVID-19 and the restaurant will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.

MUN delays staff returning plan

With the number of cases rising across the province, Memorial University announced it will delay its decision to begin returning non-academic staff to campuses, a move that was scheduled to begin Monday.

The announcement to bring some staff back onto Memorial's campuses was made earlier this month and applied to all campuses across the province.

Jeremy Eaton/CBC
Jeremy Eaton/CBC

The university will remain open to those working on site, with the majority of classes continuing online for the remainder of the fall and winter semesters.

"Memorial University's priority since the start of the pandemic … has always been, and still is, the health and safety of the campus community," the school wrote as part of a news release.

With the next COVID-19 briefing scheduled for Monday, it's expected the province will make an announcement surrounding restrictions for rotational workers.

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