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N.B. reports 69 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, circuit breaker expanded to Miramichi region

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Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting 69 new COVID-19 cases and 44 recoveries on Wednesday, as the total number of active cases in the province rises to 548.

“There is an uptick in cases today, where a number of people whose infections were first detected by a rapid test have been confirmed by our labs. These individuals were already self-isolating, their contacts have been traced, and we’re confident that the overall trend toward fewer cases should continue,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, N.B. chief medical officer of health during Wednesday’s news update.

Wednesday's new cases were identified in the following zones:

  • 11 new cases in the Moncton region (Zone 1)
  • 21 new cases in the Saint John region (Zone 2)
  • 17 new cases in the Fredericton region (Zone 3)
  • One new case in the Edmundston region (Zone 4)
  • Four new cases in the Campbellton region (Zone 5)
  • One new case in the Bathurst region (Zone 6)
  • 14 new cases in the Miramichi region (Zone 7)

According to health officials, 39 of Wednesday's 69 new cases, or 57 per cent, are unvaccinated and 30 cases, or 43 per cent, are fully vaccinated.

The province says there are currently 17 people in hospital in New Brunswick due to COVID-19, with 11 in an intensive care unit. Of those currently in hospital, 13 are unvaccinated, and four are fully vaccinated.

Of the 11 people in the ICU, 10 are unvaccinated, and one is fully vaccinated.

“This is a huge improvement over what we have seen the last month, but we need to reduce these numbers even further before all restrictions can be lifted," said Russell in reference to the amount of people in hospital.

CIRCUIT BREAKER MEASURES

During Wednesday’s news update, N.B. health officials announced that circuit breaker measures will be implemented in most of the Miramichi region (Zone 7) as of 6 p.m. on Friday.

The circuit breaker will be in effect for all of Zone 7 with the exception of Black River Bridge and communities to the east, Murray Settlement and areas south, and New Jersey and communities north.

The Saint John region (Zone 2) will see its circuit breaker measures lifted at 6 p.m. Friday, but parts of the Moncton region (Zone 1) will have circuit breaker measures extended for at least another week.

“Despite these restrictions, the number of cases remains elevated, particularly in the Greater Moncton Area,” said Russell. "We know there is community transmission in this area. More than half of the cases we are seeing in this area are within households. We are seeing the virus spread within families, and then spread again through social contacts.”

“If everyone was following the circuit breaker restrictions by limiting their close contacts to their immediate household, technically speaking this outbreak should have been significantly reduced by this point. A small amount of people can impact a larger group, a larger region and the hospital system in general.”

More information about the circuit breaker rules, including a detailed list and map of affected communities, is available online.

In an interview with CTV Atlantic, Higgs says people are tired of COVID-19 and all the rules.

"People are COVID tired and we're seeing a reluctance, really, to follow some of the basic rules that have got us here today -- and no one is any more tired over COVID than I am," Higgs said.

Higgs said a big part of the problem is household gatherings.

"Fifty per cent of our problems are household gatherings," Higgs said. "And even though we have a 'steady 20 gathering limit,' we're seeing all kinds of examples where that's not the case and it's very difficult to enforce."

BOOSTER SHOT ELIGIBILITY EXTENDED

Also during Wednesday’s news update, the province announced that more groups will soon become eligible for third doses of mRNA vaccines.

“If you are required to travel outside of North America for work, education or medical procedures, you can receive a booster of mRNA vaccine as long as a 28-day interval has passed since your second dose,” said Russell. “While the National Advisory Committee on Immunizations supports the interchangeability between COVID-19 vaccine products, at this time some countries do not recognize travellers with mixed vaccine products as being fully vaccinated."

The province says they will require a letter from your employer, physician or educational institution that demonstrates that your travel outside of North America is essential.

CASE DATA

New Brunswick has had 6,934 cumulative cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

In total, 6,264 people have recovered and 121 people have died in the province from COVID-19.

Public health says a total of 533,150 COVID-19 tests have been processed since the start of the pandemic.

The number of cases are broken down by New Brunswick’s seven health zones:

  • Zone 1 – Moncton region: 2,065 confirmed cases (218 active cases)
  • Zone 2 – Saint John region: 802 confirmed cases (102 active cases)
  • Zone 3 – Fredericton region: 1,357 confirmed cases (77 active cases)
  • Zone 4 – Edmundston region: 1,451 confirmed cases (19 active cases)
  • Zone 5 – Campbellton region: 687 confirmed cases (22 active cases)
  • Zone 6 – Bathurst region: 292 confirmed cases (3 active cases)
  • Zone 7 – Miramichi region: 280 confirmed cases (107 active cases)

VACCINE UPDATE

As of Wednesday, 86.2 per cent of New Brunswickers age 12 and older are fully vaccinated and 93 per cent have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

In total, 1,247,231 vaccine doses have been administered in New Brunswick.

All provincial government employees, staff in long-term care facilities and staff and volunteers in schools and licensed early learning and child-care facilities must be fully vaccinated by Friday, Nov. 19.

All eligible New Brunswickers can book their second dose appointments now for a date that is at least 28 days after their first dose.

CASES IN SCHOOLS AND CHILD-CARE FACILITIES

New Brunswick Health officials say 69 early learning and child-care facilities have had confirmed cases of COVID-19 since Sept. 7.

You can find information on cases in schools on the Healthy and Safe Schools website and the COVID-19 dashboard.

POTENTIAL PUBLIC EXPOSURES

A full list of potential COVID-19 exposure notifications in New Brunswick can be found on the province's website.

Anyone with symptoms of the virus, as well as anyone who has been at the site of a possible public exposure, is urged to request a test online or call Tele-Care at 811 to get an appointment.  

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