1 new COVID-19 case in N.L., marking first case in 4 days

·3 min read
Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting one new case of COVID-19 on Tuesday.  (Colleen De Neve for CBC News - image credit)
Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting one new case of COVID-19 on Tuesday. (Colleen De Neve for CBC News - image credit)

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting one new case of COVID-19 on Tuesday, marking the first case in the province in four days.

The new case is in the Eastern Health region — a male between the ages of 20 and 39 — and is related to international travel. The man is self-isolating with contact tracing by public health underway.

There have been six recoveries since Monday's update, leaving 45 active cases. Two people are in hospital, down from three on Monday, with both patients in intensive care.

In the past 24 hours, 306 people have been tested, bringing the province's total to 120,644 since last March.

The numbers were released via email, as the three-times-a-week COVID-19 briefings are set to resume on Wednesday. There was no briefing on Monday due to the St. Patrick's Day holiday.

Modelling used by Furey to call election won't be made public

On Monday, a story by CBC News detailed how the provincial government is refusing to disclose COVID-19 modelling that Liberal Leader Andrew Furey said helped justify his decision to call an election amid a pandemic.

On Feb. 9, as new cases of COVID-19 began to soar in the St. John's area — an outbreak that led three days later to the last-minute cancellation of in-person voting in all 40 districts — Furey said probabilistic modelling led to his decision to call an election before most voters would be vaccinated.

CBC Radio-Canada requested a copy of that modelling through access-to-information legislation. Last Wednesday, that request was denied by the Department of Health and Community Services because the data is considered cabinet records, a move PC leader Ches Crosbie called "BS."

Crosbie's sentiments were echoed by many people on Twitter, who criticized the decision to keep the modelling secret. Some even wondered if there actually was modelling Furey used.

"Hopefully Newfoundlanders have finally woken up and this back fires in his face!" tweeted Chad Osmond in response to CBC's original tweet with the story link.

"There was no model. Just arrogance by Andrew Furey," tweeted JoanFitz.

"Looks bad for transparency. Also, going to have a tough time convincing me a model exists that could tell us a spike was more likely to occur in late March (vs. any other time) when there was zero COVID in the province at the time," said Nicholas Camizzi.

A few others said it was time to turn the page on the issue.

"Water under the bridge! Why beat a dead horse? Get on with it. A province on the brink of bankruptcy and we are focused on this! Really!" said Frank Haire.

Furey was not available for an interview for the original story. But in a statement, he said, "As I have said repeatedly, the election was called January 15 after consistently low prevalence of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador, outbreaks in three communities quickly contained, and getting through the holiday season without an outbreak."

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