N.L.'s COVID-19 hospitalizations tick up to 14, second-highest total since start of pandemic

·3 min read
Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting 15 new COVID-19 cases Monday. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting 15 new COVID-19 cases Monday. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press
Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting 15 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, with the majority again cropping up in the Central Health region.

Thirteen of Monday's cases are in central Newfoundland, where new cases have steadily risen over recent weeks through several clusters. One case is connected to travel within Canada while the rest are under investigation by public health.

There is also one new case in the Eastern Health region and one in the Western Health region. Both are under investigation. There is one new presumptive positive case in the province.

Fourteen people are now in hospital due to the virus, the highest number of hospitalizations in the province since April 1, 2020, during the pandemic's first wave. Seven of the people hospitalized are in critical care.

The Department of Health also reported four recoveries on Monday, leaving 160 active cases.

The regional breakdown of active cases:

  • Eastern Health: 16.

  • Central Health: 140.

  • Labrador-Grenfell Health: zero.

  • Western Health: four.

To date, there are 88 confirmed cases of COVID-19 connected to the Baie Verte cluster, 62 cases connected to the Twillingate-New World Island cluster and 52 cases connected to the Bishop's Falls-Botwood cluster.

The Department of Health says since the cases in the Bishop's Falls-Botwood cluster are epidemiologically linked, there is no need to change the alert level right now. The public health investigation is continuing to explore the possibility of community spread and "make adjustments as necessary," according to the department.

Large parts of the Baie Verte area and the Twillingate-New World Island area are under Alert Level 3, with the rest of the province in the less stringent Alert Level 2.

Complacency a concern for mayors

Bishop's Falls Mayor Bryan King called the cluster in his community surprising. Until recently, there had been very few cases directly within the town of just over 3,000 people, he told CBC News on Monday.

He said people may have gotten a little too relaxed with the low case counts in the province over the summer.

Garrett Barry/CBC
Garrett Barry/CBC

"When we first heard that there was some, and it eventually evolved into a cluster, it was a bit of a surprise for all of us for sure," he said.

"A lot of the precautions that we were practising, probably more predominately at the beginning of this, we're now back doing that again."

In nearby Botwood, Mayor Scott Sceviour echoed King's comments on complacency.

"With the little bit of relaxing, of not wearing masks and that in public spaces, drew a little bit of concern to me because it just helped the complacency. It's a concern of everybody because everybody's health is first and foremost on everybody's mind," he said.

"I do believe we cannot be careful enough, and we do need to be a little bit more vigilant going forward."

Sceviour said the cluster has been a wake-up call to each and every resident.

"We really didn't know how to react to it, but I think we've did a real good job of it," he said.

"Just being around the community you can tell that social distancing started to come back a little bit more."

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