A young woman living in Happy Valley-Goose Bay told SaltWire Network she was told to self-isolate by Labrador Grenfell Health on Tuesday, March 17 because she had been in contact with someone who had been presumptively diagnosed with COVID-19.
“Apparently I was in a class with someone who tested positive,” Kelly Tobin said in a phone interview. “I got the call on Tuesday from the hospital that I had been in contact with the person and for me to self-isolate. I let them know I was a single mom and my daughter sleeps with me and they said it was best if she didn’t stay here for the 14 days, I’m in quarantine.”
There has been much speculation in recent days where two presumptive cases and one confirmed case of COVID-19 are located in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Department of Health and Community Services said the confirmed case was in the Labrador Grenfell Health (LGH) region, which covers all of Labrador and northern Newfoundland, but would not name the community or specific geographic region, citing privacy concerns.
Tobin said she’s a student at the College of the North Atlantic in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and was in contact with the person on the campus there.
Tobin is concerned three days from contact to when she was notified by LGH had passed. In that time she had interacted with over 50 people, including friends, family and her four-year-old daughter.
She sent her daughter to stay with her father for the next two weeks, and LGH advised they will call daily to see if she develops symptoms.
Tobin said she felt people deserved to know which community the cases were located.
“Nobody was saying where it was, so I figured I’d have to come out and say it definitely is in our town. A lot of people have been saying it was probably on the island, so I had to let everybody know it is here.”
Information provided to the public on locations of cases varies greatly from province to province, with Ontario and British Columbia, for example, releasing the names of hospitals and facilities where people are being treated.
SaltWire contacted the Department of Health and Community Services to verify if Happy Valley-Goose Bay had the three cases, involving two women and one man.
“There are three presumptive cases of COVID-19 that have been identified in the Labrador-Grenfell Health Region, and contact tracing has been initiated,” an emailed statement from the department read. “Due to privacy concerns we are unable to release any further details.”