N.L. reports 5 new cases of COVID-19, including 3 connected to west coast cluster

·3 min read
Almost all of the province is in Alert Level 2.  (Brian Morris/CBC - image credit)
Almost all of the province is in Alert Level 2. (Brian Morris/CBC - image credit)

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting five new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.

The new cases are:

  • A man in his 40s in the Eastern Health region who travelled within Canada.

  • A female under 20 in the Central Health region who is a contact of a previous case.

  • A female under 20 in the Western Health region who is a close contact of a previous case and connected to the cluster in that region.

  • A male under 20 in the Western Health region who is a close contact of a previous case and connected to the cluster in that region.

  • A male under 20 in the Western Health region who is a close contact of a previous case and connected to the cluster in that region.

With seven new recoveries, the active caseload is now 51.

The breakdown of the active cases is 33 in the Western region, 13 in the Central region, five in the Eastern region and zero in the Labrador-Grenfell region.

There is no one in hospital due to the virus. The last time there were no COVID-19-related hospitalizations was May 13.

Seven people have died due to COVID-19 in the province.

Drive-up testing on west coast

St. Paul's Intermediate in Gander suspended its classes again Thursday for what the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District said are "operational reasons" in the wake of a COVID-19 case connected to the Gander school. Classes were first suspended on Wednesday, after a positive case was confirmed to be connected to the school community.

On Newfoundland's west coast, the St. George's-Stephenville-Port au Port Area remains in Alert Level 4. Western Health has set up two drive-up testing sites for the Piccadilly area and are recommending people aged 12 to 30 and those who have multiple workplaces and or social contacts to get tested. No appointment is needed at these drive-up sites. The hours are: Thursday, June 10 from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday, June 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Western Health office in Piccadilly.

As of now, there are 35 confirmed cases associated with the cluster and there is one presumptive positive case associated with the cluster. The source of infection remains under investigation.

Fitzgerald said during Wednesday's COVID-19 briefing that there are separate investigations ongoing in the region involving the B.1617 and B.1.1.7 variants of concern.

While some of the most recent cases of COVID-19 in the Stephenville area, as well as their source, are under investigation, Fitzgerald noted, most cases have been contacts of previous cases. Fitzgerald said there has not been widespread transmission within the community, or within the St. George's area.

"Information from community testing, as well as other aspects of the investigation, is being assessed to determine if further testing is needed," she said. "The region will therefore remain in Alert Level 4 for the time being, and we anticipate re-evaluating this by the end of the week."

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