Early data suggests Newfoundland and Labrador has so far been successful in curtailing the spread of COVID-19, but officials are warning the province’s aging population creates particular risks.

Premier Dwight Ball has noted his province has the highest proportion of seniors in the country, and rates of hospitalizations and intensive-care admissions for COVID-19 are higher among those aged 55 and over.

“That’s me, that’s some of you. We are the ones that end up in ICU, and when you look at our population, well, there’s more of us than anyone else,” Ball said Wednesday.

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The factors raising concern among Newfoundland and Labrador officials are common throughout the Atlantic region, where the four provinces rank highest in the country for seniors per capita.

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So far, five deaths related to COVID-19 have been reported in the region, three in Newfoundland and Labrador and two in Nova Scotia. The victims ranged in age from 61 to a woman in her 90s.

Stephen Bornstein, director of Memorial University’s Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research,

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