Nfld. & Labrador

2nd COVID-NL death revealed; disease also moves for 1st time into long-term care

Dr. Janice Fitzgerald announced 9 new cases of COVID-19 found in Newfoundland and Labrador in the last 24 hours on Monday.


  • 2nd COVID-19-related death in Newfoundland and Labrador
  • A case has been found within a long-term care facility
  • 9 new cases of the virus have been discovered, bringing province's total to 226
Janice Fitzgerald, the chief medical officer of health, disclosed Monday that Newfoundland and Labrador has recorded its second death from COVID-19. (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador)

There has been a second death from COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador, and for the first time, a case has been found within a long-term care facility.

Nine new cases of the virus have been discovered within in the last 24 hours, bringing the province's total to 226.

Dr Janice Fitzgerald, the province's chief medical officer of health, said at Monday's daily update that all new cases are in the Eastern Health region, including one in St. Lawrence's long-term care facility at U.S. Memorial Health Centre.

Watch the full April 6 update:

Fitzgerald said the person who died was a 61-year-old woman who was admitted to hospital from her home.

"We extend our sincerest and most heartfelt condolences to the family at this time," Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald said the woman had underlying health conditions but could not say if the person had any connection to the Caul's Funeral Home cluster.

The case at U.S. Memorial Health Centre was found in a resident, Fitzgerald said. She said the family of the person, and families of all other residents have been notified.

"Outbreak protocols within the facility were immediately implemented, including extra cleaning and disinfecting, and staff screening," Fitzgerald said.

Testing of all residents in close contact with the individual, and those in a neighbouring unit will be completed today, said Fitzgerald.

Health Minister John Haggie said the person's exposure to the virus spans a time when single visitors were allowed inside the facility, but it's not clear if the virus was passed on from a visitor or staff member.

"The changeover was less than 14 days before this individual became symptomatic," Haggie said, adding the person's unit has been completely screened and tested for the virus.

Haggie also said the hospital also has a walk-in emergency department that has been temporarily relocated to the Burin Peninsula Health Care Centre, about 30 kilometres north of St. Lawrence.

"What happens next will depend on the degree of contact tracing and what those results are, and also the advice from any other cases that may appear within the unit," he said.

Eastern Health issued a news release Monday evening stating emergency services at U.S. Memorial Health Centre will be disrupted.

"Emergency services are expected to resume April 20, 2020. For emergencies, please call 911 or 891-1212, or proceed to the Burin Peninsula Health Care Centre," Eastern Health said.

By region, 216 cases are within Eastern Health, three are in Central Health, one is in Western Health and six are in Labrador-Grenfell.

By age:

  • 20 are under 20 years old.
  • 33 are between 20 and 39 years old.
  • 33 are between 40 and 49 years old.
  • 50 are between 50 and 59 years old.
  • 47 are between 60 and 69 years old.
  • 43 are 70 years old or above.

Fitzgerald said eight people are in hospital, with two in intensive care. Thirty-two have recovered from the virus.

As of Monday, 3,776 tests have been done. 

Premier Dwight Ball once again stressed the importance of travelling within the province only when "completely, absolutely necessary."

"Since the start of the pandemic we've been strongly urging people to stay home," he said.

Haggie said the province has more testing sites available than it had 10 days ago. He added the laboratory for testing the samples has yet to reach capacity, and is installing more equipment to boost testing capacity.

Health Minister John Haggie answers reporters' questions at Monday's briefing in St. John's. (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador )

The province has also launched a new map on its COVID-19 website to demonstrate where cases have been found in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The province had declined to identify communities where cases have been found, but the health minister said, with total cases topping 200, it's now possible to identify community clusters without identifying individuals.

"I think there is a public health need to show, quite clearly, that this is a disease that has no respect for geography. It is not the townie virus," Haggie said.

International news

Ball made U.S. news headlines on the weekend after blasting President Donald Trump Sunday for tell 3M to stop selling N95 respirator masks to Canada. 

"To say that I'm infuriated with the recent actions of President Trump … is an understatement," Ball said. "I can't believe for a second, in a time of crisis, that President Trump would even think about banning key medical supplies to Canada."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador


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