N.B. identifies 6 new COVID-19 cases; highest total of active cases to date
HALIFAX -- New Brunswick reported six new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the total number of active cases in the province to 76.
The total number of active cases in New Brunswick has now surpassed the previous high from April of 71 active cases.
The new cases are related to the ongoing outbreaks in Zone 1 (Moncton region) and Zone 5 (Campbellton region).
Three of the new cases are in Zone 1 (Moncton region) and include:
- an individual in their 50s
- an individiaul in their 70s
- an individual in their 80s
The other three new cases are in Zone 5 (Campbellton region) and include:
- an individual under 19-years-old
- an individual in their 20s
- an individual in their 60s
“We really do have to take care and be vigilant to slow it’s spread in our province,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health.
“And while there are six new cases of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the province, we are doing everything we can to make sure all of the contacts are traced and that they are isolating at home.”
MANDATORY MASK ORDER AMENDED
In a news conference on Monday, Russell advised the mandatory mask order has been amended to require the use of masks in all indoor public spaces in every region of New Brunswick.
Those in Zone 1 and Zone 5 are required to wear a mask in all indoor and outdoor public spaces.
“In Zone 1 and Zone 5 where outbreaks are now underway, masks are required in all indoor and outdoor public spaces as set out in the Orange Phase of the New Brunswick Recovery Plan,” said Russell.
“When you return to work tomorrow please keep in mind that the mask order applies to all areas of your workplace where you may interact with others including lobbies, corridors, and meeting rooms.”
TWO N.B. SCHOOLS TAKING OPERATIONAL RESPONSE DAYS
Dominic Cardy, New Brunswick’s Education and Early Childhood Development Minister, said two of the schools in New Brunswick with COVID-19 cases are moving to online learning on Monday while the schools are in operational response days.
L.E. Reinsborough School and École Communautaire Académie Notre-Dame, both in Dalhousie, N.B. are moving to online learning on Tuesday.
“So that means, for students, that they will not be attending school tomorrow and they should wait to hear from your school community about further instructions,” said Cardy.
“So staff are going to use this day to roll out their response plans, and students will learn from home.”
To date, there are three active COVID-19 cases related to schools in New Brunswick.
The first case was reported on Friday at Sugar Loaf High School in Campbellton, N.B.
The second positive case related to a New Brunswick school was at École Communautaire Académie Notre-Dame which was confirmed on Saturday.
The third COVID-19 case related to a school was confirmed on Sunday at the L.E. Reinsborough School in Dalhousie, N.B.
“This is exactly what we’d always intended, because as I’ve been making clear I hope since the beginning of this pandemic, it wasn’t a question of when we will have outbreaks like this, but how we would handle them. And so far, our handling has been world class,” said Cardy.
During Friday's news update, New Brunswick premier Blaine Higgs announced that all students from Sugar Loaf Senior High School will be learning remotely this Tuesday and Wednesday.
Students from Quebec will be transitioning to full-time online effective Tuesday.
POSSIBLE EXPOSURE AT N.B. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
On Monday, Cardy said there was also a possible exposure at the Janeville Elementary School near Bathurst, N.B.
He says contact tracing is underway and the results of that process will inform any further action taken, but the school is currently planning to reopen Tuesday.
COVID-19 CASES IN NEW BRUNSWICK
Since the pandemic began, New Brunswick has had 278 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of those cases, 200 are recovered and two people have died.
There are currently five people in hospital, with one person in intensive care.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases are broken down by New Brunswick's seven health zones:
- Zone 1 – Moncton region: 87 confirmed cases (40 active cases)
- Zone 2 – Saint John region: 31 confirmed cases (2 active cases)
- Zone 3 – Fredericton region: 60 confirmed cases (2 active cases)
- Zone 4 – Edmundston region: 8 confirmed cases (0 active cases)
- Zone 5 – Campbellton region: 86 confirmed cases (32 active cases)
- Zone 6 – Bathurst region: 3 confirmed cases (0 active cases)
- Zone 7 – Miramichi region: 3 confirmed cases (0 active cases)
The province recently announced that residents can take an online self-assessment if they are experiencing mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms.
The province is advising anyone visiting an Orange zone during the holiday to observe the requirements of the zone they're visiting – as well as observe the requirements of the zone they're returning to for 14 days.
“The next 14-days will be critical in terms of how we see things unfolding here, and that’s why the next 14-days are really important for people to be super vigilant,” said Russell.
Follow all Public Health preventative measures, including:
- Wearing a mask at all times when in public, indoors and outdoors for the next 14 days
- Being vigilant in self-monitoring for symptoms and get tested as soon as possible should they develop
- Limiting contacts to a two-household bubble
- Washing hands or using sanitizer frequently
- Maintaining a two-metre distance from others
- Avoiding gatherings outside of Thanksgiving dinner
CHANGE TO ORANGE LEVEL
On Friday at midnight, both the Moncton region (Zone 1) and Campbellton region (Zone 5) transitioned back to the Orange Level under the province's COVID-19 recovery plan.
The change to Orange means residents in those zones must stay in a two household bubble. However, unlike the previous version of the Orange level, they can now extend to include caregivers or immediate family members.
Personal service businesses such as barbers, hair stylists and spas have been instructed to close. Gymnasiums and health centres were also asked to close immediately, in addition to casinos, bingo halls, cinemas, theatres and arcades.
Restaurants, bars and retail stores may continue to operate under their previously approved COVID-19 operational plan.
Outdoor gatherings must be limited to 10 people with physical distancing.
Indoor religious services, weddings and funerals are permitted with 10 people or fewer.
SCHOOLS IN THE ORANGE
In the Orange level, enhanced mask use will be required for students from kindergarten to Grade 12. The policies apply to all students, teachers and staff unless they are not required to wear a mask for medical reasons.
Students in kindergarten through Grade 8 will now be required to wear a mask throughout the day, both indoors and outdoors, except when they are working quietly at their desk, engaged in physical activity, eating or drinking.
Students in grades 9 to 12 will be required to wear masks throughout the day, both indoors and outdoors, unless they are eating or engaged in physical activity.
Students of all ages and grades are required to wear masks at all times on the school bus, even if they are sitting alone or with a family member.
The Return to School plan establishes that all intramural, interscholastic and extra-curricular activities are suspended while zones are in the Orange level.
EARLY LEARNING AND CHILDCARE FACILITIES IN THE ORANGE
Children attending after-school care programs are required to wear masks at all times, unless they are engaged in physical activity, or when they are eating or drinking. Children aged two and up will wear masks when they are in common areas and if they are using transportation that is provided by the facility.
Field trips will not be permitted while the region is in the Orange level, and active screening procedures will be implemented. More information on active screening procedures is available in the COVID-19 Recovery Phase: Guidance to Early Learning and Childcare Facilities and Summer Camps.
These policies are only in place for schools and early childhood learning facilities while the zone is in the Orange level. Facilities will return to their normal operational plans once the zone returns to Yellow.
VEHICLE TRAFFIC INFORMATION
New Brunswick's online dashboard also includes information about vehicle traffic attempting to enter the New Brunswick border.
On Sunday, 793 personal and 432 commercial vehicles attempted to cross the border into the province.
Of the vehicles attempting to cross the border, 25 were refused entry, for a refusal rate of 2 per cent.
This is a developing story. More to come.