N.L. chief medical officer says 'most people' will get COVID-19, reports 519 cases

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ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador officials are imposing stricter provincewide public health measures as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 strains health-care capacity and drives skyrocketing case counts.

The province's chief medical officer of health said today "most people" will contract the virus and the new measures are aimed at making sure they don't all get it at once.

Dr. Janice Fitzgerald said anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 and is considered a close contact of a known case should forego a polymerase chain reaction test and assume they have the virus.

She says PCR tests are still required for anyone who does not have symptoms but has been identified as a close contact, and for those who work or live in high-risk settings, such as health care or congregate living facilities.

As of midnight tonight, the province moves to a new alert level requiring households to maintain no more than 10 close contacts and stricter limits on gatherings.

Fitzgerald said test positivity rates in the province are hovering around 10 per cent, and she reported 519 new cases today as well as the province's 20th death due to the virus.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 3, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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