With no new cases of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador Sunday, the provincial government will move to Alert Level 4 in its plan for life with COVID-19 on Monday.
Sunday is the third consecutive day with no new cases of COVID-19 in the province.
According to a news release, the total number of cases in the province remains at 261. By region, there are 243 in the Eastern Health region, eight cases in the Central Health region, four cases in the Western Health region and six cases in the Labrador-Grenfell Health region.
There are 14 active cases remaining in the province, as 244 people have recovered from the virus. Active cases are the total cases minus recovered cases and deaths.
By age, there are:
- 22 people with the virus 19 and under
- 38 people between 20 and 39
- 39 people between 40 and 49.
- 58 people between 50 and 59.
- 57 people between 60 and 69.
- 47 aged 70 and above.
Four people are in hospital, with two in intensive care. In all, 9,821 people have been tested for the virus, up 121 from the previous day.
The total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the province remains at three.
Alert level four set to begin Monday
As the province moves down to Alert Level 4, some health orders will be relaxed to allow more social and business activities to begin, while continuing to minimize the chance of a further outbreak.
In a release issued Sunday, the provincial government said the decision to move down a level depends on factors such as the number of new cases of the virus, whether or not there is an increase in community transmission and the capacity of the health care system.
Newfoundland and Labrador has been holding at Alert Level 5 since government unveiled its plan on April 30 to relax public health restrictions.
Beginning Monday, gatherings such as funerals, burials and weddings will be allowed, but will be restricted to no more than 10 people including an officiant. Wakes and visitations are still prohibited.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald clarified Thursday that includes “organized gatherings coming together with some very strict rules about how people should be interacting at those gatherings, and not casual gatherings between groups of people.”
In the release, the province said expansion of gatherings is not a sign for events like large family gatherings to resume, and that people should remain in their chosen double bubble.
Some health care services and procedures will resume, however private health care clinics will remain closed, except for emergent care, and visitation restrictions and orders for health care and long-term care homes will remain in place. Information on what services will be available will come from regional health authorities in the coming days.
Limited expansion of child care centres will also be allowed.
Low-risk businesses, including law and accounting firms and outdoor businesses, like garden centres and landscaping services, can begin to resume operations. Workplace safety training such as first-aid can resume as long as physical distancing and proper hygiene methods are practiced.
Public municipal parks will be allowed to open for the first time since the pandemic began, but use of park facilities will be restricted. For example, park playgrounds and splash pads will remain closed, as well as tennis courts and public performance spaces.
Low-risk outdoor recreational activities, including hunting, angling and golf can resume, provided they’re done safely. Gyms and fitness facilities, including yoga studios, tennis and squash courts, arenas and dance studios will remain closed throughout Alert Level 4. Campsites will also remain closed.
Other outdoor activities, such as walking and riding a bike, are encouraged so long as physical distancing can be maintained.
According to the provincial government’s website, it will take at least 28 days to determine if it is safe to move to Alert Level 3, meaning the earliest a move can be made is June 8.
The province’s daily COVID-19 briefings will continue Monday.