It has been 17 straight days without a new case of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador, with pet groomers preparing to reopen on Monday and tennis courts already getting the go ahead to reopen on Friday.
According to a news release from the provincial government, there were no new cases on Sunday.
The province’s total number of cases remains at 260. By region, there are 242 cases in the Eastern Health region, eight cases in the Central Health region, four cases in the Western Health region and six cases in the Labrador-Grenfell Health region.
There are still three active cases of COVID-19 in the province, as 254 have recovered from the virus. Active cases are the total cases minus recovered cases and deaths.
By age, there are:
22 people with the virus 19 and under.
38 between 20 and 39.
38 between 40 and 49.
58 between 50 and 59.
57 between 60 and 69.
47 between 70 and above.
All three of the province’s active cases are people in hospital, with one person remaining in intensive care. As of Sunday’s release, 11,287 people have been tested for the virus — up 79 since Saturday’s update.
The number of COVID-19 related deaths in the province remains at three.
The province’s daily COVID-19 briefings will resume on Monday.
Groomers preparing to reopen
Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, the province’s chief medical officer of health, announced on Friday that outdoor tennis courts could open effective immediately and pet grooming services can reopen to the public beginning Monday.
The announcement left Tricia Stuckless, owner of Ooh La La Pet Spaw in Mount Pearl, scrambling to ensure the proper protocols are in place for Monday morning to keep employees, pets and their owners safe.
She says when clients arrive, they’ll drop their pets into a quarantine area, removing leashes and collars, while she stands behind a barrier. Groomers will wear protective equipment like masks and gloves, along with goggles and face shields for baths.
Stuckless, who has been doing emergency grooming appointments, said preparing to reopen has put her in debt.
“I’m looking at about four to five grand and that’s just starting … definitely a little scared,” she said.
Stuckless is also down three staff, since some can’t return for health reasons.
“I am looking to hire new staff. I think everybody is really still pretty scared and they’re not really sure if it’s safe yet,” she said.
Meanwhile, demand for appointments is skyrocketing. Stuckless said she had 50 messages on her answering machine Friday morning.
“Then I came in two hours later to find another 50 on my answering machine, and then at two o’clock when they announced that we were opening up Monday … the phone here just never stopped,” she said.
“I can’t even get back to people with an appointment time because all I’m doing is answering, just writing down who needs an appointment, and who is most desperate.”
Stuckless said she will work seven days a week for 12 hours a day to try and catch up on missed appointments, with severely matted animals for medically necessary grooming being scheduled first. She is asking for patience from her clients as she works through the backlog.
Tennis players ‘raring to go’
Mike Meaney, head professional and technical director for Tennis Newfoundland and Labrador says it didn’t take them long to spring into action once the province announced tennis could resume on Friday.
Rules put in place by the provincial government say tennis players must bring and label their own equipment, and are prohibited from sharing equipment with other players.