N.L. reports 1 new case of COVID-19, 2 new recoveries

·2 min read
Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada
Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting one new case of COVID-19 on Friday, along with two new recoveries, dropping the province's total active caseload to six.

The new confirmed case is a male, between 20 and 39 years old, in the Central Health region.

The Department of Health said in a release the new case is travel-related, and the man is a resident of Newfoundland and Labrador who returned to the province from Ontario.

He has been self-isolating since arrival.

Contact tracing by public health officials is underway. Anyone considered a close contact has been advised to quarantine.

The province's total COVID-19 caseload overall is now 299. A total of 289 people have recovered from the virus and four people have died since March.

In total, 56,186 people have been tested in the province, including 312 in the past 24 hours.

On Thursday, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald outlined some of the guidelines related to what Christmas will look like in the province this year.

During the weekly briefing, Fitzgerald said rules for non-essential travel in the province will not change for the holiday season.

Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

"We know that many families have been separated for seven months now, and we have seen the toll that the separation is having on the mental health of many of our residents. We encourage anyone that needs support to reach out for help," she said Thursday. But it's the wrong time to open provincial borders, she said.

When asked if people who are willing to isolate for 14 days upon arrival could be allowed in, Fitzgerald said the issue is not about a single person but about a lot of people entering the province. Anyone entering the province must undergo a 14-day isolation period, essentially meaning they would need to return to the province by Dec. 10 to be with their families on Christmas morning.

Indoor gatherings should be limited to no more than 20 consistently close contacts, with Fitzgerald saying the sharing of food at events like potlucks should be closely considered.

Some holiday staples, such as carolling and mummering, will also look different due to the pandemic. Carolling can be done at a safe distance outdoors, while mummering should be limited to households of close contacts.

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