Newfoundland and Labrador have not reported new cases of COVID-19 since Thursday, April 1, after public health officials withdrew from reporting daily during the long Easter weekend.
No new recoveries occurred during that four-day period, leaving the province with four active cases, according to an announcement from the Department of Health. No one is in the hospital because of the virus and health workers have been performing 764 tests since Thursday.
Late Friday, Eastern Health confirmed that about 70 people were potentially exposed to COVID-19 in a St. Louis emergency room. John last week after a positive patient visited the Center for Health Sciences three times in the span of four days.
The staff of the “Under 20” hospital is in quarantine and is undergoing testing. The health authority said in a statement Monday afternoon that public health workers have completed contact tracking, with those identified as at risk being asked to schedule a test.
All test results so far have turned negative and exposure has not affected hospital services, according to Eastern Health.
Atlantic bubble under observation
Newfoundland and Labrador’s consistently low workload warns well of its inclusion in a preliminary Atlantic bubble deal, which the region’s four prime ministers have scheduled to begin on or before April 19th.
The pact would allow unimpeded travel between Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, as long as the blasts remain contained and the provincial chief doctors illuminate the plan.
However, the cases have culminated in New Brunswick, as residents there struggle with an explosion of the B117 variant. Officials reported 10 new cases Monday, with 168 people actively fighting the disease.
Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick’s chief health officer, spoke cautiously about the April 19 opening date. “Our epidemiology teams from all four Atlantic provinces have met, as well as chief medical officers on the subject,” Russell said.
“We will continue to watch and wait [to see] if we can all agree and feel safe and secure about our ability to contain the variants now. “
The uncertain future of the bubble has not prevented any jurisdiction from wanting to join, however.
Local authorities in St-Pierre-Miquelon, the French prefecture inhabited by 6,000 people off the south coast of Newfoundland, have called for inclusion in the bubble, saying in a statement Saturday that opening the international border could mutually boost tourism and allow a movement for residents of the territory who have not been allowed to enter Canada for more than one year.
Over half of the population of the eligible archipelago has received at least one dose of vaccine, according to the territory government.
In an email statement Monday, Prime Minister Andrew Furey offered some suggestions on whether his government supported the idea.
“As part of the country of France, St.Pierreet Miquelon is subject to federal government travel instructions,” the statement said.
“Our province expects to welcome visitors as soon as it is safe to do so, after discussions with the appropriate levels of government.”
Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
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