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Newfoundland's and Labrador's chief medical officer says we should try a little kindness for people with COVID-19

Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, Newfoundland and Labrador's chief medical officer of health.
Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, Newfoundland and Labrador's chief medical officer of health. — Contributed

Dr. Janice Fitzgerald says it is important to support those with the disease, in part so others won't be reluctant to report if they have symptoms

During today’s weekly media briefing on Newfoundland and Labrador’s status in the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, the province’s chief medical officer, reported no new cases and just a single active one.

The active case is that of a resident of the province who was asymptomatic as he travelled back to Newfoundland from the United States, but did develop symptoms during his mandatory period of self-isolation after his return and eventually tested positive.

Tests of his close contacts, people who were determined through a tracing process, all proved negative. However, since his case became public on Friday, he has been the subject of a great deal of social media criticism.

Fitzgerald did not mention the case specifically, but five days sfter the test was announced, she called for 'kindness, compassion and understanding," for people who have COVID-19.

"It is impossible to know the personal circumstances of those around us,” said Fitzgerald. “People who are unfortunate enough to contract this disease need our support and our understanding, not our judgment and disdain."

Fitzgerald went on to say such support is important as the province prepares to deal with what she continues to insist will be new cases in the future.

”If people who test positive for COVID-19 feel vilified, then others will most certainly feel reluctant to come forward if they have symptoms,” she said.

“We need to know about cases of this virus to prevent future outbreaks.”


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