Nfld. & Labrador

N.L., with no new COVID-19 cases for 3rd straight day, eyes St-Pierre-Miquelon outbreak

As Newfoundland and Labrador reports no new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, the premier says the province is monitoring an outbreak of the disease in a nearby French territory.

5 active cases in province

According to media reports from St-Pierre-Miquelon over the weekend, four people linked to the French territory's hospital have tested positive for COVID-19. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

As Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, the Liberal leader says the province is monitoring an outbreak of the disease in a nearby French territory.

On Sunday, media in St-Pierre-Miquelon reported the archipelago is dealing with a COVID-19 cluster at its hospital, after the islands went more than a month without a new case.

Three doctors have tested positive, along with a child of one of the doctors, according to those reports.

The state services website for the prefecture announced Monday that testing had discovered additional cases, for a total of seven. The prefecture also reported testing 250 hospital employees as of Sunday afternoon. 

Authorities have ordered all bars, restaurants and cultural spaces to close. Health officials have identified more than 160 close contacts of the positive cases.

Premier Andrew Furey touched briefly on the outbreak in a media availability Monday morning.

"Well, obviously whenever there's an outbreak in adjacent jurisdictions we're concerned and we monitor," Furey said, directing epidemiology questions to Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, who holds weekly briefings on Wednesdays.

"St-Pierre-Miquelon is a foreign country, and as we've seen, the federal government has changed the requirements for travel," he said. "They have to abide by those."

Furey was referring to federal rules, introduced Jan. 7, that require air travellers to procure a negative COVID-19 test before boarding a flight to anywhere in Canada.

Travellers departing from St-Pierre-Miquelon were exempt from the requirement until Jan. 14.

All passengers arriving from the territory must isolate for 14 days.

8 total cases for January so far 

Last week saw two new cases reported across the province, for a total of eight in 2021.

A Marine Atlantic ferry between Nova Scotia and Port-aux-Basques has been cleared and returned to service, the operator said Monday night, after two employees tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

The boat will set sail Tuesday morning, with all employees on board having produced negative results in two separate tests, according to a Marine Atlantic update.

Nobody has recovered from the disease since Sunday, according to an update from the Department of Health. One person is in hospital with the virus.

Since March, 78,257 people have been tested for the virus.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador


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