Newfoundland and Labrador reported three new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday with 57 recoveries. That reduces the active case count to 149 with nine people in hospital.

Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, chief medical officer of health, announced the province will now separate first and second doses of vaccines by four months based on global evidence. That will allow the province to give more people their first shot as quickly as possible. An extra 40,000 people are expected to be vaccinated next month.

The province will receive its first 7,000 doses of the newly approved AstraZeneca vaccine next week. Older people will be prioritized for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

All three new cases are in the eastern region:

  • Two between 20-39 years of age; and,
  • One between 50-59 years of age.

These three individuals are contacts of previous known cases. Contact tracing by Public Health officials is underway. Anyone considered a close contact has been advised to quarantine.

The regional breakdown of the 149 active cases is as follows:

  • Eastern Health – 147
  • Central Health – 0
  • Labrador-Grenfell Health – 2
  • Western Health – 0

There are nine people in hospital. Of these patients, three are in intensive care. To date, 113,503 people have been tested.