N.L. reports 16th COVID-19 death, 20 new cases since Monday

·2 min read
Newfoundland and Labrador reported its 16th COVID-related death on Wednesday.  (Patrick Butler/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Newfoundland and Labrador reported its 16th COVID-related death on Wednesday. (Patrick Butler/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Patrick Butler/Radio-Canada
Patrick Butler/Radio-Canada

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting its 16th death due to COVID-19 on Wednesday, a man from the Central Health region who was 70 years old or older.

The Department of Health also announced 20 new cases since the last full update, on Monday. Eleven of those cases — attached to a cluster in the Marystown area — were reported by Dr. Jennifer Lemessurier, medical officer of health for Eastern Health, on Tuesday.

Contact tracing by Public Health is underway, said the Health Department, and close contacts have been advised of quarantine regulations.

The new cases, by age, in the Eastern Health region:

  • Six under 20 years old.

  • Four between 20 and 39 years old.

  • Two people in their 40s.

  • One person in their 50s.

  • Three people in their 60s.

All are contacts of previous cases, said the department.

There are also three in the Central Health region, one a contact of a previous case and two under investigation, and one new case in the Western Health region who is also a contact of a previous case.

The Health Department also announced nine new recoveries, five of which are in the Eastern Health region, three in the Central Health region and one in the Western Health region.

There's one presumptive positive case and one person is hospital. The department says the active caseload is now 101, but the numbers released Wednesday don't completely add up with Monday's totals. On Monday the department said the caseload was 90. Adding 20 new cases, with nine recoveries and one death, would leave 100 cases.

The department later clarified someone previously considered recovered had died of long-term effects attributable to having had COVID-19, but declined to release specifics, citing privacy concerns.

Health Minister John Haggie said he thinks the number of new cases reflects the increase in testing.

"This is COVID until we get the youth vaccine, the five- to 11-year-old one," he said.

"We're ready as soon as we have the go ahead. We have our order in and we've guaranteed a supply for what we believe are 37,000 school children."

Haggie said his impression is that Health Canada will make a decision on vaccinating the younger age group fairly soon, and is hopeful that will happen before Christmas.

Menwahile the investigation into the Marystown cluster is ongoing.

The cluster now has 74 cases of COVID-19, up five since Tuesday.

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