Newfoundland and Labrador has announced the first death related to COVID-19 in the Atlantic region.
The province’s Health Department said Monday it would release more details at an afternoon news conference. No other Atlantic province has so far announced a death linked to the virus.
As of Sunday, Newfoundland and Labrador was reporting 135 confirmed cases. It has attributed the growth of infections to a clustering of cases linked to two services held earlier this month at Caul’s Funeral Home in St. John’s.
Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, the province’s chief medical officer of health, says that as of late Saturday, 99 of the province’s 135 infections were linked to the two funerals.
On March 15, Nova Scotia became the last province in Canada to report a case of COVID-19. Since then, the Atlantic region has reported 334 confirmed cases, with 122 in Nova Scotia, 66 in New Brunswick and 11 in Prince Edward Island.
As of Monday morning, there were 6,320 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada – 80 per cent of them in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia. Canadian health officials say 67 people have died.
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 30, 2020.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
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