COVID-19 outbreak in St-Pierre-Miquelon remains at 7 new cases as N.L. reports none

·2 min read
Eddy Kennedy/CBC
Eddy Kennedy/CBC

Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, as the province closely watches a small outbreak in a nearby French territory.

St-Pierre-Miquelon, situated just off the Burin Peninsula, has reported seven cases of COVID-19 in recent days, all related to an outbreak at the prefecture's hospital. Authorities there said Tuesday afternoon they have registered 203 close contacts of those positive cases, all of whom are undergoing testing.

The territory has closed its bars, restaurants and cultural centres to stem the outbreak.

Prior to those seven active cases, the islands had registered 16 cases of COVID-19 since March, all of whom recovered.

An Eastern Health spokesperson told CBC Tuesday it has contracts in place with health officials on the French islands that allow residents to receive COVID-19 care in Eastern Health facilities, if needed.

Eastern Health has not yet received any requests from St-Pierre-Miquelon for physician support, medical equipment or supplies, the spokesperson said.

The health authority also clarified that it could not send doctors to treat patients in the French territory itself because they would not be licensed to practise in that jurisdiction.

St-Pierre-Miquelon residents with medical appointments in Newfoundland are permitted to enter the province, but must self-isolate.

The Department of Health told CBC that it has limited those entries to urgent appointments only. Patients and caregivers must self-isolate, aside from attending their medical appointments, the department said.

In a meeting Monday, the department said the prefecture agreed not to send any close contacts of the positive cases to Newfoundland.

Eastern Health said over the last fiscal year, patients from St-Pierre-Miquelon made 1,495 trips to Newfoundland and Labrador to see specialists, including ophthalmologists, neurosurgeons and oncologists.

Meanwhile, the number of active cases in Newfoundland and Labrador fell to three on Tuesday, with one person in hospital. Two people have recovered since Monday's update, and 78,477 people have been tested since March.

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