Newfoundland and Labrador reported a record 30 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday as officials implemented a “circuit breaker” lockdown in St. John’s to help reduce the risk of further transmission.
The 30 new infections mark the province’s second highest single-day increase since the start of the pandemic.
Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, chief medical health officer for the province, announced during a press conference that all of the cases were in the Eastern Health Region, and 14 of the new infections were recorded in people under the age of 20.
“We can now say with certainty that we have community transmission in the metro region, and we will inevitably see more cases in the coming days,” Fitzgerald said.
The total number of coronavirus cases in N.L. now sits at 457 with 57 of them considered active. She said all of the individuals involved are self-isolating, and that contact tracing is underway.
The news comes after the provinces reported 11 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, which was its highest single-day increase since April 2020.
Fitzgerald said the surge in new cases has forced the provincial government to put more restrictions in place to help reduce the risk of further transmission.
These restrictions include a two-week “circuit breaker” lockdown effective Wednesday at midnight in the St. John’s metro area. She said the lockdown will be evaluated after the two week period to determine if the measure needs to be extended.
Fitzgerald reiterated the new restrictions that were announced on Monday, including the suspension of group sports, gatherings such as choirs, dance and music classes, and reducing visitation for long-term care homes to two designated visitors.
She added that all gatherings should be limited to one’s household bubble and residents should work from home where possible. She added the province is also looking at whether to close schools to help reduce further spread of the virus.
Fitzgerald said the increase in cases and restrictions may cause “a great deal of fear and anxiety” for some residents, but was adamant that “reversing community spread is possible” if everyone follows public health measures.
“We will need everyone’s co-operation and perseverance to make it happen. Every action counts now. So holdfast Newfoundland and Labrador,” Fitzgerald said.