Nfld. & Labrador

N.L. has no new cases of COVID-19, as 75% of eligible population have had 1st vaccine dose

That benchmark has been cited as a requirement, with the active COVID-19 caseload remaining low, to reopen the province's borders to fully vaccinated Canadians without quarantine on July 1.

That figure translates into 360,000 people getting a first shot

Newfoundland and Labrador has hit a milestone of sorts, with 75 per cent of the eligible population receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Josee Basque/Radio-Canada)

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting no new cases of COVID-19 on Friday for the first time in nearly two months.

There have been 10 new recoveries, seven in the Central Health region and three in the Western Health region. 

That drops the province's active caseload to 22, its lowest since April 22. The last time the province posted a zero for new cases was April 27. 

Cluster investigation concluded, Alberta worksite outbreaks

The Department of Health says the investigation into the cluster of cases into the Central health region is over, without having found the source. An investigation into a cluster in the Western Health region continues. 

There are two COVID-19 outbreaks at Alberta worksites affecting rotational workers: Arc Resources, Grande Prairie, and Suncor Firebag. Rotational workers with those projects who have returned to Newfoundland and Labrador in the last 14 days must self-isolate, distance themselves from household members, and call 811 to arrange testing. The workers must also complete a full 14-day self-isolation period, regardless of test results.

Vaccination milestone

According to the government's statistics, 75 per cent of the eligible population in the province, which is people 12 years old and up, has received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. That translates into 360,000 people getting a first shot. 

That particular benchmark has been cited as one that needed to be met as part of Newfoundland and Labrador's reopening plan. The province has said it will reopen to fully vaccinated Canadians without quarantine on July 1 as long as 75 per cent of the eligible population has had at least one dose and the active COVID-19 caseload remains low. The reopening would still need a formal go-ahead from the chief medical officer of health. 

It's also dependent on what is happening across the country, Premier Andrew Furey said when N.L.'s reopening plan was announced.

"This all relies heavily on people getting vaccinated, here at home and those coming to our province," said Furey. "If there are any concerns or any potential problems with variants or clusters popping up, we will absolutely consider changes."

Everyone will get a 2nd dose appointment, says government

Appointments for second doses of the vaccine fill up as quickly as they open, as they're reported by journalists or by people who notice the availabilities and post them on social media. Some people have been quick to nab their second vaccination appointments, and the provincial government is assuring people that more slots will open Monday as planned. 

The move comes after the provincial government announced that all second-dose appointments booked for Aug. 6 and onward would be moved up, due to an increase in vaccination supply. 

While mixing and matching of the various vaccines was given the OK late Thursday, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommended the provinces stop administering the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine in most cases, even as booster shots for people who received first doses of the product.

NACI said Thursday that AstraZeneca recipients should instead receive a second dose of an mRNA vaccine, like the ones offered by Pfizer and Moderna.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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