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44 Potential COVID-19 Cases In Newfoundland Right Now Are From A 'Super Spreader' Funeral

The province is still looking to identify the initial case.

Have you been to a funeral in St. John's recently? Among COVID-19 cases in Newfoundland are 44 presumed cases located in the eastern part of the province and all tied to a single funeral. None of them have been confirmed by the government yet, and the province is still looking for the initial source of infection.

On March 25, Janice Fitzgerald, the province's chief medical officer of health, told reporters that there are 32 new presumed cases of the virus in Newfoundland & Labrador. 

With those new ones, the number of presumed cases has now reached 67. These individuals range in age from eight to 78 years old.

Of those 67 cases, 44 are tied to a funeral in St. John's.

People had attended a service at Caul's Funeral Home there the previous week.

Fitzgerald said that the initial case hasn't been identified yet.

It doesn't look like any of the people suspected of having the virus were in violation of provincial orders.

On Reddit, users commented on a post about these presumptive cases: "I just keep thinking of them at the funeral home: hugs, handshakes, kisses, sharing food. Probably thought they were being supportive," one person said.

Another said, "one super spreader might bring this province's healthcare system to its knees." 

According to the CBC, people who went to the funeral home from March 15 to March 17 are required to self-isolate until April 1.

As of March 25, more than 1,330 people in the province have been tested for COVID-19, and more than 1,260 have been confirmed as negative.

That same day, Premier Dwight Ball announced additional measures to try and stop the spread of the virus.

People who break a required self-isolation will get their driver's license taken away from them along with being fined.

"Some of you are simply just not taking this seriously," Ball said.

For those who don't comply with rules put in place by the province, there could also be a fine of $2,500 and up to six months in jail.

A woman in Corner Brook was arrested on March 24 because she refused to stay home in self-isolation when she returned from a trip outside of the province.

Everybody arriving in Newfoundland & Labrador from outside of the province, even from other parts of Canada, is required to self-isolate for 14 days after returning.