N.L. reports 3 new cases of COVID-19 as Furey offers support to Ontario

·3 min read
Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting three new cases of COVID-19 on Friday.  (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)
Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting three new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)

Newfoundland and Labrador added three new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, all in the Eastern Health region, according to the Department of Health.

In a media release Friday afternoon, the Health Department said all three cases — two men in their 40s and a woman between 20 and 39 years old — are related to travel within Canada.

There have been no new recoveries since Thursday's update, leaving the province with 18 active cases and one person in hospital due to the virus.

A case reported April 8 in the Eastern Health region remains under investigation.

Because of Friday's cases public health is issuing advisories for passengers on three flights:

  • Air Canada Flight 8018, leaving Montreal and arriving in St. John's on Tuesday.

  • Air Canada Flight 8996, leaving Halifax and arriving in St. John's on Wednesday.

  • Air Canada Flight 8018, leaving Montreal on Wednesday and arriving in St. John's on Thursday.

Passengers on those flights are being asked to arrange COVID-19 testing by using the online self-assessment tool or by calling 811.

Meanwhile, Premier Andrew Furey said Newfoundland and Labrador has offered COVID-19 support to Ontario, following calls from the Canadian Medical Association for collaboration among provinces and territories in the pandemic response. Revised modelling suggests Ontario could see up to 18,000 daily cases by the end of May.

In a statement, Furey said the province is "quite happy to provide personnel, expertise, and extra equipment where capacity allows — understanding that the safety of people in our province is paramount."

Furey said he has spoken with Ontario Premier Doug Ford several times, and Newfoundland and Labrador government officials are working with Ontario and the federal government.

Furey later said the province has received a request for health care workers from Ontario's provincial government on Friday afternoon, and "is looking into what we can provide."

In Ford's address to residents of Ontario on Friday, the premier said Furey has called him the most out of anyone.

"A small place like Newfoundland, they wear their heart on their sleeves out there," Ford said. "He's putting some professional health care workers together, he said 'it might not be much because we're not that large,' but it's just the effort and the caring, coming together right across the country."

The support from Newfoundland and Labrador will not include the redeployment of vaccines.

"When it comes to vaccines, it is only fair for the per capita model to continue. Given the dynamic nature of this pandemic, any province or territory could be in a serious situation at any point," Furey said.

Ford said he plans to visit the Atlantic provinces when the pandemic ends.

"I'm so, so grateful. Very grateful. Andrew, thank you," Ford said.

Vaccine effort

About 12,000 people have filed into vaccine clinics across the province since last Friday for their first shot. Health Minister John Haggie has offered an optimistic outlook on vaccine shipments of late, telling reporters Wednesday that he's expecting about 29,000 doses per week. Theoretically, that number could double in May, he also said.

Eastern and Central Health authorities have opened all COVID-19 vaccination clinics to people 65 years old and older for their first shots of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. Pre-registration is no longer necessary, and eligible residents can book an appointment online with an email address.

Western Health is booking slots for people 70 and older, Indigenous adults and home support workers, according to its latest update.

Residents in the Labrador-Grenfell Health region who are over 60 or a member of an array of priority groups — including essential workers and the clinically extremely vulnerable — can also book an appointment.

To date, 128,895 people have been tested for COVID-19, including 463 since Thursday's update.

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