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N.B. reports 1 new case of COVID-19 at nursing home as tests and calls to 811 spike
HALIFAX -- Another resident of Manoir de la Vallee, a long-term care home in Atholville, N.B., has tested positive for COVID-19.
New Brunswick public health said Tuesday that the person is in their 80s. The new case increases the number of active cases to 13 – all of them stemming from a doctor who travelled to Quebec for personal reasons and failed to self-isolate upon his return. Five of the 13 new cases are residents at Manoir de la Vallee.
The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 133, but 120 had recovered before the Campbellton cluster emerged.
Five patients are hospitalized with one in an intensive care unit. As of Tuesday, 30,666 tests have been conducted.
“We are pleased to see how all our partners have come together to help us manage the situation,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health. “We have 14 days ahead of us to see how things unfold. In the meantime, I ask New Brunswickers to continue to demonstrate their compassion, kindness and patience throughout the province.”
For many health-care workers and Campbellton residents, it's going to be a long 14 days as they wait and see how many more people will be infected by the most recent outbreak.
About 5,000 people in that zone have been tested since Friday and 300 are self-isolating.
"I would say the majority of them have been tested, but even if they tested negative, they still have to remain home for the next 14 days," said Dr. Russell. "We've seen cases where the person tested negative in the morning and then they tested positive that evening."
As for the doctor, Vitalite Health Network said last week that the doctor has been suspended and, on Tuesday, the college of physicians and surgeons says no further action has been taken yet -- but acknowledged the rumours in a statement:
"There has been no action on his licence because he was suspended by the hospital and consequently can't practice anyway. Nor is there an urgent need for us to act on our own, but we are keeping an eye on things, trying to distinguish between reality and fiction."
There was also a reminder from health officials that New Brunswick's borders are not completely closed.
In May, an average of 5,600 vehicles crossed every day during the week.
About 90 were turned away because their travel was deemed not essential.
"The problem is, if somebody does something dumb and goes off to some other place where they shouldn't be and gets infected, you can't legislate against that," said Ken McGeorge, an advisor with the Special Care Home Association. "But you have to keep re-enforcing and the special care homes are doing a good job at that."
Calls to 811 have spiked
Calls to 811 have spiked since Thursday, but despite the increase in testing, public health says there are enough testing kits to go around.
As of Monday, 133 tickets have been issued for non-compliance with the state of emergency order. Fines range between $200 and $10,000.
Anyone showing two of the following symptoms should contact Tele-Care 811 or their primary health-care provider for further direction:
- fever above 38 C or signs of fever (such as chills);
- new cough or worsening chronic cough;
- sore throat;
- runny nose;
- new onset of fatigue;
- new onset of muscle pain;
- loss of sense of taste or loss of sense of smell; and
- in children, purple markings on the fingers or toes. In this instance, testing will be done even if none of the other symptoms are present.
You can do an online self-assessment to help determine if you should be tested for COVID-19.
You can also get up-to-date information about COVID-19 on this page of the provincial government website.