Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting one case of COVID-19 on Wednesday, and the provincial government is looking into whether or not the woman who has tested positive self-isolated while not on work hours.
The province's Department of Health said in a media release the confirmed case is a woman, between the ages of 20 and 39, in the Labrador-Grenfell Health region.
The woman is not a resident of the province, and was granted a travel exemption.
According to the media release issued Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m., she is an essential health-care worker in Happy Valley-Goose Bay who travelled to the province from Saskatchewan.
Health Minister John Haggie later told CBC News the province's health department is looking into whether or not the woman self-isolated while not working after the government's media release listed several reasons for other people to seek testing.
"It would appear that there is some uncertainty about whether or not the off hours were truly spent isolating. We are certainly looking into that," he said.
The health department asked people to call 811 to arrange for testing if they visited:
- Terrington Co-op in Happy Valley-Goose Bay on Sept. 22 between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
- Bargain Shop in Happy Valley-Goose Bay on Sept. 23 between 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.
The Department of Health is also asking anyone who stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Deer Lake on Sept. 21 to call 811 to arrange for COVID-19 testing.
Among those was Finance Minister Siobhan Coady, who is going to have a COVID test completed but doesn't have to isolate, just monitor for symptoms, said Haggie.
"I reached out to the public health line, spoke to the public health officials, made sure that everything I was doing, of course, was proper," Coady said.
"I just have to monitor, and I have no symptoms thankfully, and that was nine days ago."
Further, anyone who travelled on Air Canada flights 7950 and 7484 departing Regina and Toronto for Deer Lake on Sept. 21, and anyone who travelled on PAL flight 901 on Sept. 22 should call 811 to arrange for COVID-19 testing, said the public health department.
This is recommended out of an "abundance of caution," said the public health department.
Contact tracing by public health officials is underway.
1st case in Labrador-Grenfell since April
It is not clear if the woman was symptomatic while travelling. The public health department has identified that information with previous cases related to travel, but did not do so in this one.
It is also not clear if the woman was required to self-isolate.
CBC asked the public health department for clarity on both of these points, but a direct response to the questions was not provided.
Instead, Kathy Dicks-Peyton, a spokesperson for the health department, referred CBC to the self-isolation exemption order, which states, "Asymptomatic health-care workers essential to the provision of critical health care, including organ retrieval teams, in the province are exempted from the requirement to self-isolate for 14 days only while these workers are travelling to and from their home and place of work in the province. When not working, these workers must otherwise self-isolate while in the province."
It's the first new case of COVID-19 since April in the Labrador-Grenfell Health region, which has now had seven cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. The health authority has tested 2,084 people in total.
A previous case of COVID-19 has now recovered, so with the new instance there are two active cases of COVID-19 in the province.
In total, 269 people have recovered from the virus and 42,007 people have been tested, including 536 people in the last 24 hours.