Presumptive COVID-19 case at Voisey's Bay false positive, as N.L. reports no new cases Sunday

·2 min read

The presumptive positive case of COVID-19 at the Voisey's Bay mine site in northern Labrador is now considered a false positive, as Newfoundland and Labrador begins November with no new cases of the virus.

According to a news release from the provincial health department Sunday morning, an initial sample and an additional sample were tested at the province's microbiology lab overnight, with both samples testing negative for COVID-19.

The man, a worker at the mine between 20 and 39 years of age, initially tested positive on Friday.

Public health said it treats any presumptive positives as true positive cases, and as such, contact tracing had already been completed.

Those who were in isolation as a result of contact tracing will be contacted by public health to follow up with new information.

Prior to the news release from the Department of Health, Lake Melville MHA Perry Trimper and Cartwright – L'Anse au Clair MHA Lisa Dempster both made posts on Facebook announcing the case being a false positive.

Evan Mitsui/CBC
Evan Mitsui/CBC

The total number of confirmed cases in Newfoundland and Labrador remains at 291, with three active cases. The last known new case of COVID-19 came on Oct. 26.

As of Sunday, 52,657 people have been tested — that's up 212 in the last 24 hours.

The false positive at Voisey's Bay isn't the first false positive related to a mine site in Labrador.

A contractor from outside the province arriving at the Iron Ore Company of Canada mine in Labrador City tested presumptive positive on Sept. 12.

The Department of Health followed up on the presumptive positive case, with the test returning a negative result the following day after additional testing through the provincial microbiology lab.

Rugby resumes

As a result of the negative tests, the Newfoundland and Labrador Rugby Union (NLRU) is lifting a suspension of play issued on Saturday.

The NLRU put all rugby activities on hold, including all club and high school matches, and cancelled its Goodyear Cup final match after a member of the Swilers Rugby Football Club was informed of possible exposure to COVID-19 while working at Voisey's Bay.

According to a release from the NLRU Sunday, the Swilers player also tested negative for COVID-19.

The Goodyear Cup final has been rescheduled to Nov. 7. High school matches scheduled for Sunday won't go ahead, but will be rescheduled for a future date.

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