N.B. expands COVID-19 testing guidelines; updates list of symptoms to check for
HALIFAX -- New Brunswick is changing its testing guidelines for COVID 19, the province's chief medical officer of health announced Monday at a news conference in Fredericton.
Dr. Jennifer Russell said testing would be "recommended" for anyone who shows two or more of the following symptoms:
- fever above 38C;
- new cough or worsening chronic cough;
- sore throat;
- runny nose; and,
"Having two of these five symptoms does not mean that you have COVID-19," said Dr. Russell. "But by isolating yourself quickly, you lessen the chance that the disease will spread to your family, neighbours and the wider community, if you are infected."
Anyone who has at least two of these symptoms should self-isolate immediately and contact 811 or their family doctor to find out what to do next. Dr .Russell said symptoms can range from relatively mild (runny nose and sore throat) to severe, such as difficulty breathing.
The province also reported two news cases of COVID-19 Monday, which brings the total to 116.
One is an individual aged 40 to 49 in the Fredericton area and the other is aged 50 to 59 in Campbellton.
Premier Blaine Higgs says that 74 of 116 cases have recovered.
"More people have recovered than are confirmed to be ill," Higgs said. "However, there are still three New Brunswicks in serious condition in the ICU."
Of the 116 cases, 66 are travel-related, 36 are close contacts of confirmed cases, seven are the result of community transmission and seven remain under investigation.
Since the pandemic started, 12 New Brunswickers have been hospitalized and seven have since been discharged. Two others are in hospital, but not in intensive care.
Higgs says, so far, he's pleased with the level of compliance with the province's emergency order.
"So far the vast majority have been following the rules," Higgs said. "We need to keep it up."
He said New Brunswick police and public safety officials have given out 26 tickets to people who are not adhering to state of emergency regulations; 17 of those tickets have been issued in last seven days. Fines range from $292.50 to $10,200.
"Issuing fines is a last resort,” said Higgs. “Our goal is compliance, not punishment. I hope no one else puts himself or herself in a position where officers have to issue a ticket."
Temperature figure in fever symptom changed slightly.