Stephen: Province announces vaccine passport will be mandatory, mask mandate back in effect

Published on September 17th, 2021 @ 2:07 PM


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Two days after Minister of Health John Haggie announced that Newfoundland & Labrador’s upcoming vaccine passport would be optional, Premier Andrew Furey tweeted that it will, in fact, be mandatory. He wrote

“Newfoundland and Labrador, you have stepped up in this pandemic. Getting vaccinated, respecting public health guidance. With our current COVID-19 situation, we will make vaccine passports mandatory for non-essential, recreational activities. More details soon.”

The vaccine passport is expected to go live in the first week of October, using the same technology as is currently being employed in Quebec. Paper versions of the passport will also be available.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald announced 4 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province. 2 are located in the Labrador-Grenfell Health region and 2 are in the Eastern Health region. With 15 recoveries since this past Wednesday, there are now 38 active cases in Newfoundland & Labrador.

Effective midnight tonight, the mask mandate is being put back in place for in-door public places. This is due to the prevalence of the highly contagious Delta variant of the Coronavirus. Masks also required on buses and in common areas for K-12 schools, for staff and students. Students grades 4-12 will be required to wear masks at all times.

 

Official media advisory:

Today (Friday, September 17), Newfoundland and Labrador has four new confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the last public advisory. Contact tracing by Public Health is underway and anyone considered a close contact has been advised regarding quarantine according to current guidelines.

 

In the Eastern Health region:

 

  • One male between 20-39 years of age. The case is related to travel within Canada.
  • One female between 50-59 years of age. The case is related to travel within Canada.

 

In the Labrador-Grenfell Health region:

 

  • One male 70 years of age and older. The case is a contact of a previous known case.
  • One female between 60-69 years of age. The case is a contact of a previous known case.

 

There have been 15 new recoveries seven in the Eastern Health region, six in the Labrador-Grenfell region and two in the Western Health region and 1,503 people have recovered. There is no one in hospital because of COVID-19. There are no presumptive positive cases in the province.

 

There are currently 38 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. The regional breakdown of the active cases is as follows:

 

  • Eastern Health – 20
  • Central Health – 3
  • Labrador-Grenfell Health – 13
  • Western Health – 2

 

To date, 286,325 tests have been administered. People can check their COVID-19 test results online here.

 

The investigation into a cluster of cases of COVID-19 in the Labrador-Grenfell Health region announced Monday, September 6, is ongoing. There are 21 confirmed cases of COVID-19 connected to the cluster to date. The identified cases are isolating and Labrador-Grenfell Health is conducting contract tracing. The source of the cluster is under investigation.

 

The investigation into a cluster of cases of COVID-19 in the Western Health region announced on Monday, August 30, is ongoing. There are eight confirmed cases of COVID-19 connected to the cluster to date. The identified cases are isolating and Western Health is conducting contract tracing. The source of the cluster is under investigation.

 

The investigation into a cluster of cases of COVID-19 in the Eastern Health region announced on Wednesday, August 18, has concluded. There were five confirmed cases of COVID-19 connected to the cluster. The source of the cluster was determined to be travel related.

 

As part of the ongoing investigations into recent cases, Public Health is asking anyone who visited several locations, listed on the COVID-19 website here, to arrange COVID-19 testing. To arrange testing, complete the online self-assessment and referral tool available here or call 811.

 

People who visited these locations and currently have symptoms of COVID-19 are required to isolate until 24 hours after their symptoms resolve and they receive a negative test result. People who visited these locations and do not currently have symptoms of COVID-19 are not required to isolate until they receive a negative test result. While awaiting their test result, they should monitor for symptoms and isolate should any symptoms develop.

 

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

 

  • Fever, including chills or sweats;
  • A new or worsening cough;
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing;
  • Runny, stuffy or congested nose;
  • Sore throat or difficulty swallowing;
  • Headache;
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste;
  • Unusual fatigue or lack of energy;
  • New onset of muscle aches;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Vomiting or diarrhea for more than 24 hours; and,
  • Small red or purple spots on hands and/or feet.

 

Anyone in the province, regardless of their vaccination status, should get tested if they are experiencing even just one of the symptoms of COVID-19 listed above. Do not assume it is just a cold. There has been community spread and outbreaks across the country because people were mildly symptomatic and did not get tested or limit their activity. It is essential to find any cases of COVID-19, so that Public Health can do their job effectively and contain the spread of the virus as much as possible.

 

All travellers coming to Newfoundland and Labrador, including Newfoundland and Labrador residents, are required to fill out a travel form found here. The travel form can be completed up to 30 days prior to the travel date. Please submit proof of your COVID-19 vaccination by uploading it to your form. If you are over 12 and not vaccinated against COVID-19, you will be required to self- isolate upon entry into the province. If you travelled from within the Atlantic Provinces and are an Atlantic Canadian resident, you will need to complete the travel form but you will not need to complete the vaccination section.

 

The most up to date vaccine data and the number of vaccine doses administered is on the provincial COVID-19 data hub. Information on COVID-19 vaccines for Newfoundland and Labrador is available online here. Additional information on the COVID-19 vaccination rollout is on the websites for each of the regional health authorities:

 

Eastern Health

Central Health

Western Health

Labrador-Grenfell Health

 

Please continue following the proven Public Health measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. People are encouraged to download COVID Alert to help reduce the spread of the virus. It is available free through the Apple or Google Play app stores. For the most up-to-date information related to COVID-19, please visit www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19.

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