N.B. reports 1 new COVID-19 case in Saint John region; potential exposure on Air Canada flight
HALIFAX -- New Brunswick reported one new case of COVID-19 on Wednesday in the Saint John region. With nine previously reported cases now considered recovered, the number of active cases in the province has dropped to 74.
The new case involves one person in their 30s in Zone 2 (Saint John region). New Brunswick Health says the case is related to travel and the person is self-isolating.
Three people are currently in New Brunswick hospitals due to COVID-19, with all three patients in intensive care.
As of Wednesday, 135,266 COVID-19 tests had been conducted in New Brunswick.
To date, the number of confirmed cases in the province is 542, of which 461 have recovered and seven have died. This leaves 74 active cases.
Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health, spent part of Wednesday answering questions from New Brunswickers and there was lots of interest in when the Saint John zone can return to the "yellow phase."
"We definitely have seen a big improvement in terms of the number of cases," Russell said. "We're still seeing the Shannex piece being a part, but we're still continuing to test there, so definitely trending in the right direction."
Premier Blaine Higgs alluded that good news for Saint John could come soon, but said no decision will be made until after he speaks to his colleagues on the all-party COVID committee on Wednesday night.
"We're hopeful it will happen this week," Higgs said.
The COVID-19 vaccine rollout was on the agenda on Wednesday.
"The only thing I know about supply right now is what's available for next week, and I don' t know if it's coming on Monday, or Wednesday or Friday, but maybe we'll be told tonight."
The premier says they will also discuss the logistics of who gets those first doses, and the province is expecting 1,950 at some point next week.
As for the Atlantic bubble being restored before Christmas, Russell and Higgs both said Wednesday that New Brunswickers should expect to stay home for the holidays.
"I spoke with my counterparts on the phone from the Atlantic provinces," Russell said. "I know Nova Scotia is imposing their restrictions at least until the 21st of December. There isn’t a huge appetite for anything to change right now."
POTENTIAL EXPOSURE ON FLIGHT TO SAINT JOHN
New Brunswick Public Health is advising of a potential public exposure on a Dec. 6 flight to Saint John.
On Dec. 9, Public Health identified a positive case in a traveller who may have been infectious on Dec. 6 while on the following flights:
- Air Canada Flight 865 – from London to Montreal, arrived at 4:20 p.m.
- Air Canada Flight 8792 – from Montreal to Saint John, arrived at 9:20 p.m.
All individuals who travelled on these flights should continue to follow the directives given to them when they registered for travel to New Brunswick
CASES THROUGHOUT NEW BRUNSWICK
The number of cases are broken down by New Brunswick's seven health zones:
- Zone 1 – Moncton region: 145 confirmed cases (9 active cases)
- Zone 2 – Saint John region: 125 confirmed cases (37 active cases)
- Zone 3 – Fredericton region: 105 confirmed cases (17 active cases)
- Zone 4 – Edmundston region: 16 confirmed cases (8 active cases)
- Zone 5 – Campbellton region: 137 confirmed cases
- Zone 6 – Bathurst region: 10 confirmed cases (3 active cases)
- Zone 7 – Miramichi region: 4 confirmed cases
Residents can take an online self-assessment if they are experiencing mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms.
SAINT JOHN ZONE REMAINS ORANGE
New Brunswick's Zone 2 (Saint John region) remains at the Orange alert level for the time being, as Public Health says there are still a number of active cases in this zone and the risk of transmission or outbreaks remains high.
As of Wednesday, 37 of the province's 74 active cases are in the Saint John zone.
Public Health will continue to monitor progress in this region in the hope of returning Zone 2 to the Yellow alert level as soon as possible.
As of Monday, restrictions in New Brunswick's Moncton region (Zone 1) and Fredericton region (Zone 3) have been loosened to the Yellow alert level.
Recovery level rules are available online. In the Yellow level, Public Health measures and guidelines must still be followed. This includes wearing a mask in most indoor public places. Face masks must also be worn when ordering food or drinks at a drive-thru.
VEHICLE TRAFFIC INFORMATION
New Brunswick's online dashboard includes information about vehicle traffic attempting to enter the New Brunswick border.
On Tuesday, 1,975 personal and 1,509 commercial vehicles attempted to cross the border into the province.
Of the vehicles attempting to cross the border, 18 were refused entry, for a refusal rate of 0.5 per cent.