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Even with community spread of COVID-19, voting in N.L.’s election is safe: experts

Click to play video: 'COVID-19 spike spawns concerns for N.L. election' COVID-19 spike spawns concerns for N.L. election
A new rise in COVID-19 cases in Newfoundland and Labrador is coinciding with this week's provincial election. As Ross Lord explains, there are questions whether the coronavirus will interfere with the vote's safety – Feb 9, 2021

A Montreal cardiologist with a background in epidemiology says even with community spread of COVID-19 in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador can have a safe election on Saturday.

McGill University professor Dr. Christopher Labos says it’s not the election itself that’s a concern but the possibility of people gathering in large numbers.

Labos said Tuesday if venues are ventilated and if voters are masked and keep their distance from one another, then everything should be fine.

Read more: More virtual campaigning in N.L. after community spread of COVID-19 in St. John’s

Newfoundlanders and Labradorians will be heading to the polls days after health officials confirmed community spread of COVID-19 in the capital’s metro region.

And although officials announced stricter health measures in St. John’s, shutting gyms, cinemas and bars, the chief electoral officer said Tuesday that voting day was still a go.

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Chief medical officer of health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald said Tuesday that going to a polling station where safety protocols are followed is no riskier than visiting a grocery store.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 10, 2021.

Click to play video: 'Nova Scotia to require N.L. travelers to self-isolate' Nova Scotia to require N.L. travelers to self-isolate
Nova Scotia to require N.L. travelers to self-isolate – Feb 9, 2021

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