18 new cases of COVID-19 in Newfoundland, community transmission confirmed

WATCH: Newfoundland premier, health officer provide update on COVID-19 as province sees 1st community spread cases

As of Saturday, Newfoundland and Labrador have 18 new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases to 120.

Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, said at a press briefing that the ages of the individuals infected range from teenage years to above age 70.

She said two of the individuals are in hospital and four have now recovered.

READ MORE: First patient hospitalized in Newfoundland due to COVID-19

Fitzgerald said one of the individuals infected did not travel or come into contact with someone who had, “so it appears it’s a community transmission.”

“Contact tracing began after the patient received their diagnosis,” she added.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: What are community cases and should Canadians be concerned?

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Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Dwight Ball, who was also at the press briefing, said the province is among the highest infiltration of cases, next only to Quebec.

“We are number two in the country,” said Ball.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: N.L. recalls legislature for ‘urgent’ protections for employees, tenants

He said it’s more important now than ever to stay home and maintain psychical distancing.

Due to COVID-19 concerns, Ball also announced that the 2020 Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games, which were scheduled to be held in Bay Roberts from August 15-22, have been postponed.

Because of the current Public Health State of Emergency, the government stated in a press release that all sport facilities are closed, athletes are not able to train in the regular way, playdowns are not happening and teams cannot be selected.

“We recognize that this is disappointing for our young athletes, their coaches, families and supporters, because for many of you, the Newfoundland and Labrador Games represent the pinnacle of your achievements in sport to date,” said Minister of Children, Seniors and Social Development, Lisa Dempster, in a press release.

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“I want to assure you that we are continuing to work with the Host Committee, the Town of Bay Roberts and SportNL, and will work with our partners to reschedule the Games once our current health emergency is resolved,” she added.

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The premier also noted that during this time, the Salvation Army will provide hot meals to support commercial drivers providing essential services.

“We must all do our part,” said Ball.

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