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N.L. grapples with COVID-19 spike as Ontario delays March break

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID-RML via AP

Newfoundland and Labrador reported a record number of daily COVID-19 cases Thursday

Spike in COVID-19 cases has forced N.L. to postpone provincial vote in St. John's area

Ontario's education minister has announced the March break is being postponed due to COVID-19 concerns

VANCOUVER – A new COVID-19 crisis is brewing in Newfoundland and Labrador and it’s creating enough concern for Saturday’s provincial election to be partially postponed.

With a record 100 new cases being reported Thursday, Elections NL can’t retain enough workers to staff the polls. As a result, the province is now postponing the upcoming vote in the St. John’s area, which has seen cases spike.

The election will continue as planned in other parts of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Thursday’s case count crushes the province’s previous one-day record of 53, set just Wednesday.

“The breakdown is as follows: 74 under 20, 10 between 20 and 39, four between 40 and 49, six between 50 and 59, one between 60 and 69, and four over 70. The total number of cases in our province is now 610,” said Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, the province’s chief medical officer of health.

All but one of the cases are in the St. John’s area.

Ontario school break postponed

Meanwhile, Ontario’s education minister has announced the province is postponing March break until the week of April 12.

Minister Stephen Lecce says the decision was made after consulting Ontario’s chief medical officer of health and others. The province is hoping to avoid a repeated spike in youth-related cases.

Fewer than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Ontario Thursday, but public health warns that number is underreported due to a data migration.

This is the second time since November the province has reported fewer than 1,000 cases. The other instance was last week amid another problem with data migration from Toronto Public Health.