Nfld. & Labrador

1 new case of COVID-19 linked to Marine Atlantic ferry

The Blue Puttees, which operates between North Sydney and Port aux Basques, was temporarily pulled out of service for contact tracing Wednesday. Two crew members have now tested positive for COVID-19.

Man in his 60s is Marine Atlantic employee

The MV Blue Puttees, seen here in a file photo, has been pulled from service for a deep cleaning as crew members undergo COVID-19 testing. There is now at least one case in Newfoundland and Labrador linked to the ferry. (CBC )

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting one new case of COVID-19, an employee of a Marine Atlantic vessel flagged by officials this week as a possible risk for spreading the virus to crew members and passengers.

The MV Blue Puttees, which operates between North Sydney, N.S., and Port aux Basques, N.L., was temporarily pulled out of service for contact tracing Wednesday, after a crew member tested positive for COVID-19.

The new case, the second Marine Atlantic employee this week to contract the virus, is a man in his 60s in the Central Health region. The Department of Health says the man is isolating and contract tracing is underway.

The department also says it's sharing contact tracing information with authorities in Nova Scotia and advising Marine Atlantic.

Health officials would not provide details on the new case, instead deferring to the ferry operator. A spokesperson for Marine Atlantic told CBC the man was part of the same shift as the previously infected employee.

Marine Atlantic is adding a boat to the route, with the MV Atlantic Vision entering the schedule departing North Sydney early Thursday evening. The spokesperson said the Blue Puttees is still sidelined.

"We will continue to monitor this situation and make any additional operational adjustments as required," the spokesperson said in a statement.

Officials are asking passengers who travelled on the Blue Puttees to or from North Sydney or Port aux Basques between Dec. 29 and Jan. 16 to arrange COVID-19 testing.

With no new recoveries since Wednesday's update, the province has six active cases, with one person in hospital.

In all, 384 people have recovered from the virus, and 77,273 people have been tested.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador