COVID Atlantic 20201216Newfoundland and Labrador's chief medical officer of health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald smiles at St. John's public health nurse Ellen Foley-Vick as she puts a Band-Aid on her arm after giving her the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in St. John's, Nfld., on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. Foley-Vick is the first person in Newfoundland and Labrador to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sarah Smellie
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey called on people in the province to not "harass" others who test positive for COVID-19 as case counts escalate in region.
"The fear and anxiety is normal in this situation but we have been here before," Furey said at a press conference on Tuesday.
"In the unlikely outcome that you’re positive, that’s OK, we’ll get through that too. But please don’t bully or harass others who may be positive."
Newfoundland and Labrador has 30 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Eastern Health region, bringing the total active cases in the province to 57. A total of 14 out of the 30 new cases are people under the age of 19.
"We can now say with certainty that we have community transmission in the [St. John’s metro region] and we will inevitably see more cases in the coming days," Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, Newfoundland and Labrador’s chief medical officer of health said.
As a result of these rising case numbers, schools with high school grade levels in the St. John’s metro area are closed while contract tracing is underway.
The chief medical officer of health has issued a modified special measures order for the St. John’s metro region that will go into effect on Wednesday at 12:01 a.m., which will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
The new measures include the following:
Gatherings that are run by a recognized business or organization are limited to 20 people, as long as physical distancing can be maintained, including funerals, burials, weddings, and faith-based organizations
Other gatherings must be limited to your household bubble, while a single person household can join one other bubble
Group and team sports, recreation activities, group arts and cultural activities are suspended
Gym and fitness facilities, yoga studios, swimming pools, tennis and squash facilities, arenas, dance studios and performance spaces must close
Restaurants can remain open at 50 per cent capacity, with appropriate physical distancing between tables, while buffet-style operations are prohibited
Bars, lounges, bingo halls and cinemas will be closed