N.L. Records First COVID-19 Death, As 13 New Cases Bring Total To 148

Newfoundland and Labrador has 13 new positive cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.

Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, the province’s chief medical officer of health, said the new cases are all within the Eastern Health region.

The total number of cases for the province is now at 148.

139 are in Eastern Health
3 are in Central Health
1 is in Western Health
5 are in Labrador Grenfell Health

55 percent are females
45 percent are males

9 people are in hospital
2 are in ICU
1 death in Eastern Health
7 people have recovered

Election For President Postponed Amid Concerns Over COVID-19

After consulting with and receiving consensus from members of the Nunatsiavut Assembly, First Minister Tyler Edmunds announced today that the election for President of Nunatsiavut, scheduled for May 5, 2020, has been postponed until October 6, 2020.

“It is important that the election for President be held and that it is properly conducted in accordance with the spirit, intent and requirements of the Labrador Inuit Constitution and the Nunatsiavut Elections Act,” notes the First Minister. “In light of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the inability to access appropriate polling areas, uncertainties respecting timely mail delivery for mail-in ballots, and also the imposition of requirements on public gatherings and physical distancing have resulted in the reality that it is not possible to hold the election in the immediate future. Therefore, there is no choice but to postpone the election to a time when it is hoped the public health situation has improved.”

The Presidential Election Order, 2020, registered with the Clerk of the Nunatsiavut Assembly on March 20, announcing the May 5 election, has been rescinded, and any nomination papers that may have been filed with the Nunatsiavut Electoral Officer are deemed void and of no effect.

Nominations for the October 6 election will close at 12 noon (Atlantic Standard Time) on Tuesday, September 1, 2020.

The opening of the nomination period will be announced in due course. Any inquiries regarding the election should be directed to Nunatsiavut Elections Officer, Nannette Blake.

She can be reached at (709) 896-5683, or by email at nannette.blake@nunatsiavut.com.

Initiatives Being Implemented to Help Labrador Inuit Cope With Impacts of COVID-19 (Audio)

The Nunatsiavut Government today announced a number of initiatives aimed at assisting Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement deal with impacts associated with the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiatives include providing support to food banks and community freezers (including those operated by the Sivunivut Inuit Community Corporation in North West River and the NunaKatiget Inuit Community Corporation in Happy Valley-Goose Bay/Mud Lake), and cleaning supplies and activity and games packages for children and families.

Funding is also being set aside for mental health initiatives, harvesting and home-heating programs.

Click here to hear President Lampe tell you more on these initiatives.

Self Isolate Before Travelling to Labrador

In an effort to control the spread of COVID-19, the Nunatsiavut Government is asking individuals to self-isolate for at least 14 days before travelling from Happy Valley-Goose Bay to any of the five Labrador Inuit communities.

Effective immediately, individuals whose travel costs are covered by the Nunatsiavut Government, including students and staff, will be required to self-isolate in Happy Valley-Goose Bay for 14 days before entering the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. Arrangements will be made to ensure accommodations are provided to students and staff that are required to self-isolate.

N.L. Records First COVID-19 Death

Newfoundland and Labrador has had its first death due to COVID-19.

The patient — a retired man in the Eastern Health region — died Sunday, about three days after being hospitalized.

More details on the spread of COVID-19 are expected to be revealed this afternoon as Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, Newfoundland and Labrador’s chief medical officer of health, Premier Dwight Ball and Health Minister John Haggie address the public at 2:00 pm.

The briefings have become a daily occurrence as the provincial government, like others across the country, updates the total number of COVID-19 cases and any other developments related to it.

This past weekend, for example, saw two significant developments.

The first instances of what’s called community transmission were confirmed.

On Saturday, Fitzgerald said the cases were in the Central Health region and the Labrador-Grenfell Health region. Community transmission relates to cases where public health staff cannot connect the infection to another proven case.

Fiztgerald, who said this development was expected, and stressed staying indoors to limit the spread of the disease.

By Sunday, the number of people with COVID-19 who needed to be hospitalized increased to seven, with two of those people in intensive care.

The total number of cases in the province now sits at 135.

Some 2,107 tests for COVID-19 have now been completed. Four people in the province had recovered from the virus as of Sunday.

MHA Evans Input On The Current COVID-19 Situation (Audio)

“The biggest thing I am trying to do now is to try to answer questions that the people have” says MHA Lela Evans.

We spoke to MHA of the Torngat district on what advice she would like to give to her constituents.

She also speaks about the special sitting that happened at the house of assembly on Thursday.

Click here to hear more from MHA Lela Evans.

Premier Dwight Ball’s Announcement

Premier Dwight Ball says income support will reach the hands of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians from now until April 1st.

Ball says there are between 2,000 to 3,000 cheques ready to be sent off.

These provincial cheques would include income support, support enforcements and cheques for pensioners and landlords.

Ball says the government is also working with Canada Post since their shut down to ensure GST cheques, which include provincial supports for seniors and low income earners, will be delivered by April 3rd.

Canada Post will resume Kenmount Road operations on Monday, March 30th. They are prioritizing socio-economic cheques to ensure they are delivered as quickly as possible.

Story courtesy of VOCM.

Eastern Health Staff Confirmed Cases

Eastern Health has confirmed a “small number” of staff members who work on an acute care unit at the Health Sciences have tested positive for COVID-19. Health Minister John Haggie spoke with reporters couple days ago.

He says those staff are self isolating at home.

Haggie would only say the number of affected staff members is between 4 and 10. Eastern Health meanwhile is assuring the public that everything is being done to ensure the safety of staff, physicians and patients.

Eastern Health although the staff members were not at work on Tuesday, their close contacts have been instructed to self-isolate and contact tracing is ongoing.

Patients also have been informed and are being monitored for symptoms related to the illness. Eastern Health is working with staff from Infection Prevention and Control, Public Health and occupational Health to complete contact tracing on staff, doctors and patients.

Eastern Health says it has internal processes in place to report respiratory illness, and staff must report all potential communicable diseases to Occupational Health. In the meantime, the health authority says measures are in place to keep patients, residents, physicians and staff safe to reduce the risk of spreading infectious disease.

Those measures include deep cleaning in main areas, screening those entering health care facilities for COVID-19 through a series of questions, reduction of entry points into facilities, reduction is operating hours and the cancellation of appointments not deemed urgent or emergencies.

Courtesy from VOCM news.

15 New Cases in NL

Newfoundland and Labrador has 15 new cases of COVID-19 since Wednesday, bringing the province’s total to 82, said Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, the province’s chief medical officer of health on Thursday.

All new cases are within the Eastern Health region, said Fitzgerald.

The Eastern Health region accounts for 76 cases, two are in Central Health, one is in Western Health, and three are in Labrador-Grenfell Health. Everyone is recovering at home, said Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald said the ages of patients range from eight to 80, with a median age of 55.

Seven patients are under 19 years old, nine are between 20 and 39 years old, 12 are between 40 and 49 years old, 21 between 50 and 59 years old, 15 are between 60 and 69 years old, and 18 are older than 70.

“How we act now affects how this will unfold in our province,” Fitzgerald said. “This is our new reality and it won’t be over by Easter.”

Elections for President Set (Audio)

Election for President set for May 5, 2020. Nunatsiavut’s First Minister Tyler Edmunds announced that the election for President of Nunatsiavut will be held on May 5, 2020, as per Section 3.4.3 of the Labrador Inuit Constitution.

Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Atlantic Standard Time (AST).

Nominations will close at 12 noon. (AST), on March 31, 2020, at the office of the Nunatsiavut Electoral Officer, 14 Corte Real Road, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL.

Advanced polls will be held on April 28, 2020 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. (AST).

Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement are advised that measures will be implemented at all polling stations to prevent potential exposure and transmission of the coronavirus COVID-19.

Measures may include restricting the number of people at polling stations at the same time, and ensuring safe distances (of at least two metres) between all individuals.

Hand sanitizers will be available, and all areas within the polling stations will be disinfected regularly.

Additional measures may be implemented as required. Any inquiries regarding the election should be directed to Nunatsiavut Elections Officer, Nannette Blake.

She can be reached at (709) 896-5683, or by email at nannette.blake@nunatsiavut.com.

Click here to hear Blake talk about the upcoming Presidential election.