N.L. reports 5 new COVID-19 cases, 5 new recoveries

·4 min read
133,377 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador, with the province reporting five new cases of the virus Saturday. (Paul Daly/CBC - image credit)
133,377 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador, with the province reporting five new cases of the virus Saturday. (Paul Daly/CBC - image credit)
133,377 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador, with the province reporting five new cases of the virus Saturday.
133,377 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador, with the province reporting five new cases of the virus Saturday.(Paul Daly/CBC)

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting five new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, along with five new recoveries.

Four out of the five cases are travel related, with the source of the fifth under investigation. Three of the cases are located in the Eastern Health region, while two are in the Labrador-Grenfell Health region.

The first case in the Eastern Health region is a man in his 20s or 30s and is related to international travel. A man also in his 20s or 30s tested positive for the virus, with the source related to travel within Canada, while the source of infection for a man in the same age group is under investigation.

The two cases reported in the Labrador-Grenfell region are a woman in her 20s or 30s and a woman in her 60s, both related to travel within Canada. The cases are the first reported in the region since March 2.

Contact tracing is underway for all the new cases, according to public health.

As a result of Saturday's cases, public health has issued a travel advisory asking passengers who travelled on Ar Canada Flight 8016 from Montreal to St. John's on Thursday to arrange a COVID-19 test.

Three people are in hospital due to COVID-19. With the five reported recoveries on Saturday, the province's active case count remains at 33.

The source of case reported on April 23 in the Western Health region is still under investigation, according to public health.

In all, 133,377 people have been tested for COVID-19 in the province, including 264 in the past 24 hours.

Positive case on ship in Conception Bay

In its release, public health also said the province is working closely with Eastern Health and the Public Health Agency of Canada after a crew member on a ship anchored in Conception Bay was confirmed to have COVID-19.

Public health said the crew member is the only person confirmed to have the virus at this time and that all crew members have been tested on board.

The ship, the Federal Montreal, is owned by Montreal-based company Fednav, which runs a bulk shipping service between northern Europe and the Great Lakes.

Fednav confirmed to CBC News that tests were being done on board the Federal Montreal and all government regulations are being followed.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) told CBC News in an email Saturday that it was notified of an ill crew member on the ship Thursday, who was then transported to hospital by medevac.

The PHAC said the ship will remain anchored in Conception Bay while it works with provincial authorities "to assess the situation in the context of local public health requirements and the requirements of the Quarantine Act to determine next steps."

Public health officials in Newfoundland and Labrador also advised rotational workers of an outbreak at the Oilsands Industrial Lodge in Alberta Saturday, as there are workers from the province on site.

Any rotational workers who returned from the site in the last two weeks must complete a full 14-day isolation period away from members of their household, regardless of a COVID-19 test result.

N.L. nears 170,000 people vaccinated

As of the end of the day Friday, 167,714 people have received at least one dose of a vaccine, that's about 36 per cent of those considered eligible for the shot by the Department of Health.

Health Minister John Haggie tweeted Saturday that more than 82 per cent of people in the province over the age of 80 have received at least one dose.

The province saw its highest number of new daily cases in over two months Friday, with the seven of the new cases being related to travel. Of the 23 COVID-19 cases found in the province this week, 21 are travel related.

Despite Friday's increase in cases, the province's Department of Health said the jump is not unexpected given the epidemiology elsewhere in Canada and what the department calls "increased travel into the province recently."

The department also said Friday that there is "no concern of community spread at this time."

Elsewhere in Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia reported a single-day record 148 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, as more than 16,500 tests were completed in the past day as the Nova Scotia Health Authority lab catches up with a testing backlog. There are now 713 active cases in Nova Scotia.

New Brunswick reported 18 new cases Saturday, with 141 active cases in the province. There were no updates from health officials on Prince Edward Island as of 3:30 p.m. NT.

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