Newfoundland and Labrador reports two new cases of COVID-19, has 10 active cases

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ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, including an overseas contract worker for the province's Crown-owned energy corporation.

Provincial health officials described the patient as a man from Russia, between 40 and 49 years old, who works at Nalcor's Lower Churchill Project Soldiers Pond worksite about 35 kilometres west of St. John’s.

They said the man has been following public health guidelines since his arrival in the province and has been self-isolating when not at work, although anyone considered a close contact was advised to quarantine.

In a separate news release, Nalcor said its employee was tested through a private lab and was confirmed positive for the novel coronavirus on Saturday. It said the test result was directed to Public Health which confirmed the findings.

"The individual is from outside Canada and received permission under the NL Special Measures Orders to work at the Soldiers Pond site," the corporation said. "The individual has been following the essential worker exemption protocols . . . and has been self-Isolating in St. John's when not at work."

The company said the man had also followed worksite isolation protocols and is not believed to have had close contact with other individuals on the job.

It said the area where the man worked is closed off and work at a building on the site has been paused until cleaning is completed. 

"It is believed that the risk to other individuals working at Soldiers Pond is low," the corporation's statement said.

The second case announced Sunday was travel-related, involving a man between 20 and 39 in the central health zone who returned to the province from work in Alberta.

The two latest cases brings the total number of active cases in the province to 10.

In total, Newfoundland and Labrador has had 303 cases of novel coronavirus, while 289 people have recovered and there have been four deaths.

The province said one person is in hospital due to the virus. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 15, 2020.

The Canadian Press