ST. JOHN’S, N.L. —
Newfoundland and Labrador is tightening its rules for rotational workers travelling in and out of the province amid a surge of COVID-19 cases connected to a variant of the virus that’s swept through the St. John’s area.
Chief medical officer of health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald says effective immediately, all rotational workers returning to the province must self-isolate away from families for a full 14 days and can no longer take a COVID-19 test on day seven in a bid to shorten their quarantine.
Any rotational workers who have recently returned to the province and haven’t received their day seven test will not be able to get one and must start self-isolating away from family members.
Officials are reporting 26 new cases of COVID-19 today, bringing the province’s active case count to 285.
Fitzgerald says while the virus variant first discovered in the United Kingdom is estimated to be 70 per cent more transmissible than the original strain, it isn’t yet known if it causes more serious illness.
Officials announced yesterday the province is now at Alert Level 5, the most restrictive level of its COVID-19 response plan, which prohibits gatherings of more than 5 people.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 13, 2021.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Heidi Petracek