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N.B. official says the COVID-19 situation is stabilizing as health network remains on red alert

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Despite there being more than 5000 positive COVID-19 tests reported this past week in New Brunswick, the province’s deputy chief medical officer of health says, overall, the situation seems to be stabilizing.

“With the lifting of the mandatory order and measures on March 14, we were expecting to see an increase in cases as well as hospitalizations from the lifting of the restrictions and that’s what we’ve seen so far,” says Dr. Yves Leger.

“We feel that we’re reaching our peak as we expected around mid-April and hopefully in the coming weeks we’ll start to see things improve.”

Meanwhile, the Vitalité Health Network has released an update saying that the consistently high number of COVID-19 cases is forcing the health authority to remain at the red alert level — with more than 240 of its workers off due to either testing positive or because of a contact.

“The measures taken to protect patients, designated support persons (DSPs), and health-care workers remain unchanged in all network facilities,” reads a news update from Vitalité.

The number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations in the province still stands at 79, which is where it was during the last reporting period.

Of those, four are children who are under the age of 10. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 26 admissions in that age category.

“I think while every hospitalization is concerning, I think for us looking at the bigger picture means that this is quite a rare occurrence,” says Leger.

The New Brunswick Medical Society is also looking to remind New Brunswickers to use caution when it comes to COVID-19, and to consider wearing masks indoors, as the pandemic continues to take a toll on the province’s health care system.

But there is a sense of optimism.

“I won’t say we’re in any worse shape than we were a week or two ago,” says president Dr. Mark MacMillan. “We’re looking towards a positive light for the future which is hopeful — and I’m hoping we reach that light soon.”

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