Newfoundland and Labrador announces 1st presumptive case of new coronavirus

Health officials in Newfoundland and Labrador say a resident has been presumptively diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, the province’s chief medical officer of health, told reporters the patient is a woman who recently went on a Caribbean cruise.

“She is currently self-isolating,” Fitzgerald said. “Public health has notified the patient and contact tracing is initiated.”

The province has tested 144 people so far. Of those, 67 were negative and the rest are pending results from the national lab. Fitzgerald said 121 people are in isolation across the province.

If confirmed, Saturday’s case marks the first time the illness has been diagnosed in the province.

“We knew our province would eventually get cases, and there are plans in place to respond,” Fitzgerald said.

P.E.I. announced its first case on Saturday as well. There are well over 200 confirmed or presumptive cases of the viral illness in Canada.

Canadian officials have now warned against all non-essential international travel including cruises.

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