Nfld. & Labrador

No new COVID-19 cases as Labrador-Grenfell Health postpones vaccinations for the elderly

While there were no new cases of COVID-19 reported Saturday, Labrador-Grenfell Health says it's postponing plans to vaccinate people 75 years and older because of the reduced supply of the Moderna vaccine.

N.L. reports no new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday

Labrador-Grenfell Health says it's postponing vaccination for those 75 and older after Canada-wide decreases in the supply of the Moderna vaccine. (Greg Lovett /Northwest Florida Daily News/The Associated Press)

Labrador-Grenfell Health says it is postponing its plans to vaccinate people 75 years and older because of the reduced supply of the Moderna vaccine.

Recent announcements concerning Canada-wide decreases in the Moderna vaccine supply prompted the health authority to delay the vaccinations, which were originally scheduled to begin the week of Feb. 8.

In a media release on Saturday morning, Labrador-Grenfell Health said the vaccinations will be rescheduled as soon as vaccine supply allows.

"Labrador-Grenfell Health is following provincial and national guidance on COVID-19 vaccination for priority populations. More information regarding continued implementation will be shared in the coming weeks," the release reads. 

"While waiting for your opportunity for vaccination, and after vaccination, it is important for everyone to continue to follow public health guidance to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your communities."

In her briefing on Wednesday, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald said Pfizer-BioNTech shipments are also delayed, as the company has temporarily shut down some production lines at its factory in Europe for renovations to allow the company to increase its output. 

"The timing of this delay is unfortunate," said Fitzgerald at the time, as regional health authorities are holding onto vaccines to be able to give people their needed second doses.

A zero on Saturday, an outbreak in Alberta

Meanwhile, there are no new cases of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador being reported on Saturday, following 10 new cases in the previous three days. Five of the new cases are a cluster in the Eastern Health region with no identified source.

On Saturday, the provincial Health Department said the investigation into the source of the first case associated with that cluster is continuing. 

There have been no new recoveries, leaving 13 active cases in the province. One person is in hospital.

On Thursday, Fitzgerald said there's a suspected case, connected to the cluster, in a daycare in the Eastern Health region. As of Saturday, the case continued to be treated as a suspected case and has not yet been confirmed.

No children or staff at the daycare have tested positive for the virus as of Saturday's update, the Health Department said.

The first doses of the Moderna vaccine arrived in Labrador on Dec. 31. (PAL Airlines)

The Department of Health also is advising rotational workers about a COVID-19 outbreak at the Ovintiv Canada Pipestone oilsands site in Alberta. The department said it was notified about the outbreak by the Public Health Agency of Canada beause people from Newfoundland and Labrador work with the project.

Rotational workers with this project 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.

These workers must also complete the full 14-day self-isolation period, regardless of test result.

Elsewhere, as a result of a Friday case connected to two previous cases on the Marine Atlantic ferry MV Blue Puttees, public health is asking passengers who travelled on the vessel to and from North Sydney, N.S., and Port aux Basques, N.L., between Dec. 29 and Jan. 16 to arrange COVID-19 testing by calling 811 or using the province's online assessment tool.

In total, 79,688 people have been tested as of Saturday's update, including 399 in the last 24 hours.

Sunday's COVID update is expected in a media release after 2 p.m. NT.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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