New Brunswick

COVID-19 cases traced back to five Moncton flights so far

The Moncton airport is alerting passengers about another Prince Edward Island resident who tested positive for COVID-19 after being on a flight to Moncton.

Person went home to P.E.I. after landing in Moncton on March 20

The Moncton Airport Authority says a P.E.I. person who tested positive for COVID-19 was on Sunwing flight WG445 from Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic on March 20. (Marielle Guimond/Radio-Canada)

There are now five flights that landed in Moncton where a passenger tested positive for COVID-19.

In a press release, the Greater Moncton International Airport Authority said a Prince Edward Island resident passed through the Greater Moncton Roméo LeBlanc International Airport on Friday, March 20.

The person was a passenger on Sunwing flight WG445 scheduled to arrive at 3:50 p.m. from Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, the release said.

The person then travelled to their home on P.E.I.

The release says if anyone was on this flight, or was in close contact to someone on this flight, they should self-isolate for 14 days. If they then developed symptoms, they should call 811.

The authority sent a notice about a similar case last Sunday, where a woman in her 20s flew from Toronto to Moncton on March 16. She was on WestJet flight 3456 that departed from Toronto at 8:35 a.m. and arrived in Moncton at 12:05 p.m.

All passengers on that flight were also asked to self-isolate for two weeks.

A list on the Prince Edward Island website, confirmed with the Moncton airport authority, shows five flights to Moncton where passengers are currently suspected for being at risk of COVID-19.

The list is as follows:

  • Sunwing Flight WG445 arriving to Moncton on March 20 from Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
  • Air Transat Flight TS2653 arriving to Moncton on March 18 from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
  • Air Canada Flight AC7518 departing from Toronto on March 17 and arriving in Moncton on March 18.
  • WestJet flight 3456 arriving to Moncton March 16 from Toronto.
  • WestJet flight 3440 arriving to Moncton on March 8 from Toronto.

On Friday, Chief Medical officer Jennifer Russell said there was a COVID-19 case connected to Sunwing flight 169 from Punta Cana to Fredericton on March 18. Government spokesperson Anne Moores said as with all suspected cases of COVID-19, "Public Health officials are in touch with those who were on that flight and others who may have come into contact with the person."

In the dark

Julie Pondant, spokesperson with the Moncton airport authority, said she can't provide many details about the confirmed cases because that's the health authority's purview.

She said her organization has not been getting information from the province easily. She said sometimes, the authority finds out about affected flights along with everyone else during the 2:30 p.m. press conferences with Russell and Premier Blaine Higgs. 

"If we're not made aware then we can't share it," she said. "But once we are aware then we share it as soon as possible."

She said that's a challenge because the authority wants to be part of sharing that information with the public.

"Obviously everybody would want to know sooner, and we're part of that as well," she said. 

Pondant said P.E.I. is doing a good job keeping everyone up to date by posting affected flights online and it would be helpful if the province could do that too.

"It's regrouping all of the cases that have been identified that have come into their province," she said. "It would be a good way to be able to summarize all the flights affected that came through our province if they had it out in one spot." 

The province's spokesperson Tyler Campbell said he will share a response to CBC's questions about this Monday.

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