Newfoundland and Labrador are battling seven new confirmed COVID 19 positive cases and 21 plausible positive cases. There are also cases of unlinked transmissions of the game-changer variant, which has led to a plea from the CMO of health warning people to be alert.
The Eastern Health region has 6 of the confirmed cases are while the 7th case is travel-related and is from the Western Health region.
According to Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, cases confirmed by rapid testing are hypothetical cases and are treated exactly like the confirmed positive cases.
On Monday afternoon, Fitzgerald confirmed that one person was admitted to the hospital and is down with the deadly virus. This marks the first hospitalization since the new coronavirus variant outbreak.
Fitzgerald stated she was not at liberty to talk about the details or the hospitalized person’s status.
“You see enough cases, you’re gonna see hospitalizations. That is the sad fact of the matter.”
She further disclosed that there were five new recoveries and a total of 298 active cases. This figure brings the total number of patients in the province since the pandemic started to 704.
Fitzgerald also said that although the number of new cases is less than that of late last week. Contact tracers are diligently discovering threads of community spread that are unlinked.
“Please do not read into these case counts. In public health, it is not the cases that we know about that are concerning, it’s the cases that we don’t know about.”
The department has to contact many people to inform them they have had close contact with a confirmed case.
“If you have any reason to believe that you may have been exposed but have not yet received a call from public health, please stay home and monitor for symptoms.”
Also, Fitzgerald stressed that it is mandatory to wear masks, especially for people entering long-term care facilities. There are strict restrictions for visitors in such places to stop the spread of the virus.
“If the variant were to make its way into a seniors’ residential facility, we’d very likely have devastating consequences.”
With 1,829 more people tested since yesterday, a total of 92,874 people have been tested to date. Nearly 10 percent of all tests completed in the province since March have been done last week.
Fitzgerald said this should be an example of how fast the new variant can spread when left unchecked.
According to her,
“People really should be watching our situation closely and monitoring how quickly it can move through a community.”
In truth, N.L has some of the strictest quarantine requirements and border controls in Canada. She still the variant was able to get into the spread rapidly in the province.
“This is just a testament to why you can never let your guard down with this virus. It does not matter how low your case count is today because tomorrow could be a very different story.”
For now, contact tracers haven’t found the source of the outbreak as this may take some time before they unearth it as the public health teams are focusing on tracing and testing.
For now, there’s no evidence pointing that the outbreak was caused by breaking the rules.