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COVID-free for five days, N.B. is 'the envy of Canada and much of the world'
HALIFAX -- There are no new cases of COVID-19 to report in New Brunswick as the province extended its streak to five consecutive days without an active case.
The last new case was announced on May 6 and of the 120 New Brunswickers who caught COVID-19, all have recovered.
"This is a considerable achievement which has made us the envy of Canada and much of the world," Dr. Jennifer Russell said Wednesday during a news conference in Fredericton.
The province reported Wednesday afternoon that it had perfomed 323 tests in the last 24 hours.
While praising New Brunswickers for helping to keep COVID-19 at bay, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health said it's important to continue to follow public health guidelines because there will be a second wave of infections, and no one knows when it will happen.
Russell also recognizes there has also been a tremendous cost borne by many.
"We are all aware of the economic costs, the impact that the state of emergency has had on many businesses entrepreneurs and employees, and that sacrifice that so many of you have made has made our success against COVID-19 possible and, for that, you have my undying gratitude," Dr. Russell said.
There are also social costs, she said.
"That price has been paid by parents worried about the safety of their children, workers pushed into uncertain situations, families frayed by the stress of the pandemic, and all sorts of other situations as well with people not being able to see their loved ones -- so these costs and negative impacts cannot be ignored," Dr. Russell said. "In the coming days I hope we will be able to be in a position to recommend further relax of the rules imposed by the emergency."
In other news, Premier Blaine Higgs says essential workers who have stepped up since the pandemic began deserve a wage boost.
"Since this pandemic began, essential workers across the province have stepped up for New Brunswick," Higgs said. "In recognition of this, our province has sent a written request to the federal finance minister outlining a program to provide a monthly top-up of approximately $500 for 16 weeks for front-line workers in a number of sectors."