Grand Bank cluster rises to five

·2 min read

The number of COVID-19 cases in Grand Bank on the Burin Peninsula has risen to five, two of them being elderly residents of Blue Crest Cottages.

The other three cases are a man over 70, a rotational worker and another person who’s believed to be a home care worker, although Public Health will not confirm this.

The cases have all been connected through contact tracing.

The new Grand Bank case is a female over the age of 70 and a tenant of the cottages.

Other residents at the seniors housing complex have been told to quarantine.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald said Thursday that while contact tracing was not yet complete, there have been no indications of community spread, and no public spaces have been singled out as possible points of exposure.

The second new confirmed case is a female in the Western Health region between 40-49 years of age. The woman is a resident of Newfoundland and Labrador. Public Health says the source of that infection is under investigation and an update will be provided as more information becomes available.

The third new confirmed case is a male in his 20s in the Eastern Health region. He is a resident who returned to the province from Nova Scotia, which had 28 active cases as of Thursday.

The Newfoundland man may be the first travel-related case here from within the Atlantic bubble.

The province now has 13 active cases, including two people in hospital. The department won’t confirm whether the two include residents of the Grand Bank complex.

“Newfoundland and Labrador has a robust contact tracing process,” the Department of Health said in a news release. “The process has been successful in quickly identifying cases since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Nonetheless, the release notes that further resources are available if the 171 contact tracers currently working throughout the province prove insufficient.

“The Government of Canada has offered support to the provinces and territories to assist with contact tracing. Federal government employees will work closely with Public Health officials in Newfoundland and Labrador to provide extra support for contact tracing if needed,” it said.

“Public Health officials are also engaged in discussions with retired health-care professionals and retired law enforcement officials in this province who may wish to assist with contact tracing.”

Peter Jackson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram