1 new case of COVID-19 in N.L., as Canadian Rangers prepare to aid vaccinations in Nain

·2 min read

Officials in Newfoundland and Labrador are reporting one new case of COVID-19 on Thursday, as one Labrador coastal community prepares to welcome army reserves to assist with vaccine rollout in the region.

Members of the Canadian Rangers, part of the Canadian Armed Forces reserve, are deploying to Nain to help transport residents to the community's vaccination site, AngajukKak Joe Dicker said.

Bill Blair, the federal minister of public safety, tweeted Thursday that his department had approved a request for assistance from Indigenous Services Canada.

CBC has requested more information from the Nunatsiavut Government, which is handling vaccine distribution along Labrador's northern coast.

Dicker told CBC the Rangers would help residents, many of them elders, who don't have access to transportation. He's expecting them to arrive Friday morning.

New case related to international travel

Meanwhile, the Department of Health reported Thursday that a man under 40 is Newfoundland and Labrador's newest case of COVID-19.

The man is a resident of the province and had travelled internationally, the department said. Officials say they've completed contact tracing for the case, in the Eastern Health region, and the man is self-isolating.

One person is in hospital with the disease, and 75,777 people have been tested for the virus to date.

As vaccinations continue for priority groups — including front-line health-care workers, long-term care residents and people in isolated Indigenous communities — Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald said Wednesday the province is following national recommendations.

Health Minister John Haggie also noted Wednesday an increase in national availability for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination — 20 million more doses — and said he hopes to get an update during a health ministers' conference call later this week on when Newfoundland and Labrador can expect its share, which would be 1.4 per cent, or about 280,000 doses.

That number "will be sufficient to completely vaccinate around a third of our eligible population. So we're looking forward to hearing about that," Haggie said.

As of Wednesday, 5,291 people had received at least one dose of vaccine.

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