If you were out in Halifax in the last 2 weeks, get tested for COVID-19: health officials

·3 min read
Lindsay Bird/CBC
Lindsay Bird/CBC

Public health officials in Nova Scotia are asking anyone who was in a bar or restaurant in Halifax or surrounding metro area past 10 p.m. in the last two weeks — including staff — to get tested for COVID-19, regardless of if they are showing symptoms of the virus.

That provincial government and its chief medical officer of health announced the measure on Tuesday as it broadens an asymptomatic testing strategy.

Newfoundland and Labrador's health department followed suit, asking anyone who has returned to Newfoundland and Labrador from Nova Scotia in the last two weeks, and who visited bars in Halifax and the surrounding metro communities to call 811 to arrange COVID-19 testing, even if they aren't experiencing symptoms.

The Department of Health said even in the event of a negative test result public health, it is encouraging these people to continue monitoring themselves for symptoms for a full 14 days from the time of their arrival in the province.

Recently in Newfoundland and Labrador a man returned to the St. John's region from Nova Scotia and tested positive for COVID-19. Two more cases in the Eastern Health region came as a result, and are connected to that man.

On Monday, Premier Andrew Furey announced a two-week suspension for the Atlantic Bubble as cases rise in the region. Prince Edward Island is doing the same.

2 new cases on Tuesday

Newfoundland and Labrador is reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, both in the Eastern Health region.

With a new recovery in the Western Health region, the province's active caseload is now 24.

Both new cases are connected to previous cases, the Department of Health said in a news release. The first is a woman between 60 and 69 years old, a resident of the province and a close contact of a previous travel-related case reported on Nov. 17.

The second new case is a woman over 70 years old, and is connected to the recent cluster in Grand Bank, according to the news release. The release said the woman, a resident of the province, is not a tenant of the Blue Crest Cottages retirement facility in the community.

Both people are self-isolating and contact tracing by public health officials is completed, said the release, with neither of Tuesday's cases connected to each other.

Jonathan Castell/CBC
Jonathan Castell/CBC

The Department of Health is also advising rotational workers about a COVID-19 outbreak at the LNG Canada project site in Kitimat, B.C. The department said it was notified about the outbreak by the Public Health Agency of Canada as people from this province work there.

"Rotational workers with the project who have returned to Newfoundland and Labrador in the last 14 days must self-isolate and physically distance away from household members, and call 811 to arrange COVID-19 testing," reads the media release.

These workers must now complete the full 14-day self-isolation period, regardless of test result.

Tuesday saw no new cases connected to the Western Health region, where a cluster has emerged including the first positive case within a school, involving a student at Elwood Elementary in Deer Lake.

On Monday, education officials announced the school would be closed for two days. On Tuesday a spokesperson for the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District told CBC News in an emailed statement school administration has been advised that "staff can make preparations for classes to resume at Elwood Elementary tomorrow."

"All of the current public health information indicates school operations can continue," the statement reads.

In total, 59,741 people have been tested across the province as of Tuesday's update provided by the Department of Health in a media release. That's an increase of 471 since Monday's update.

There have been 295 recoveries and four deaths related to COVID-19 in the province since March.

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