N.B. reports another COVID-19 related death involving person in their 30s; 63 in hospital
New Brunswick is reporting a person in their 30s has died from COVID-19 related complications, bringing the death toll from the virus to 169 people.
The province is strongly encouraging all residents who are eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster dose to immediately book their appointment due to the Omicron variant's transmissibility.
"Getting a booster shot of vaccine is especially important as it gives you an added layer of protection,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “With lots of vaccine and appointments available for booster doses, I urge everyone eligible to get their dose as soon as possible.
The following groups can book an appointment for a booster dose if at least five months has passed since their second dose:
- people 50 and older;
- members of First Nations communities; and
- residents of nursing homes and adult residential facilities.
And the following groups, including immediate household family members 18 and older:
- health-care personnel – including those working in long-term care facilities;
- school personnel; and
- early childhood education and daycare staff.
People who are immunocompromised can book a booster dose if at least five months have passed since their last mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
“Very soon, we will be expanding the eligibility for booster doses so it is imperative those who are high risk who can get their dose now, book an appointment at a regional health authority clinic or reach out to a participating pharmacy,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard. “New Brunswickers eligible for a COVID-19 booster dose can book their appointment online.”
HOSPITALIZATIONS AND CASES
As of Thursday, there are 63 people in hospital, 19 of whom are in intensive care.
Of those in hospital:
- 46 are over the age of 60
- 11 people are on ventilators
- No one under the age of 19 is hospitalized
Public health says hundreds of health-care workers across the province continue to isolate at home due to the virus.
Based on information available from PCR tests, public health is reporting 672 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, along with 227 recoveries.
The province says, effective Saturday, Jan. 8, PCR-confirmed test numbers and other data updates will be available only on the COVID-19 dashboard and will not be included in future news releases.
Of Thursday’s new cases:
- 135 are in the Moncton region (Zone 1)
- 323 are in the Saint John region (Zone 2)
- 85 are in the Fredericton region (Zone 3)
- 65 are in the Edmundston region (Zone 4)
- six are in the Campbellton region (Zone 5)
- 43 are in the Bathurst region (Zone 6)
- 15 are in the Miramichi region (Zone 7)
According to the province's online dashboard, there are now 7,267 active COVID-19 cases.
As of Thursday, 83 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, 90.5 per cent have received their first dose of a vaccine and 22.6 per cent have received a booster dose.
MODERNA VACCINE AVAILABLE
To preserve the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine supply for future booster clinics for those aged 12 to 29, public health in New Brunswick says current eligible groups will be offered Moderna at booster clinics, regardless of which vaccine was administered for previous doses.
“Moderna is a safe and effective vaccine, and as the number of COVID-19 cases rise due to the Omicron variant, it becomes increasingly important for people to get their booster of the COVID-19 vaccine,” Russell said.
Russell added that mixed doses of Moderna and Pfizer are now considered to be acceptable for most international travel including to the United States.
REGISTRATION FOR RAPID TEST KITS
Health officials say people with COVID-19 symptoms are required to register online for a PCR test or rapid test under the provincial government’s new testing strategy.
By completing the online form, people can determine which type of test they are eligible to receive.
"Those with symptoms, and who are aged two to 49 and otherwise healthy will be advised to take a rapid test," read a release from public health. "After registering their information, people can book an appointment to pick up a rapid-test kit at a hub or mobile-site location. Anyone picking up rapid tests must present an email confirmation of their appointment."
PCR tests are reserved for people at the highest risk of being hospitalized due to COVID-19. These include:
- Health-care workers and those who live or work in long-term care facilities, homeless shelters and correctional facilities.
- People who are symptomatic and aged 50 and over.
- People who are symptomatic and immunocompromised.
- People who are symptomatic and pregnant.
- People who are identified as a priority by public health.
People who need a PCR test for travel, residents of First Nations communities and children under two are also eligible to receive a PCR test.
People who are isolating because of their symptoms are permitted to leave isolation to attend a test appointment.
POTENTIAL PUBLIC EXPOSURES
A full list of potential COVID-19 exposure notifications in New Brunswick can be found on the province's website.
LEVEL 2 RESTRICTIONS
All of New Brunswick is in the Level 2 phase of the province's COVID-19 Winter Plan.
The full list of requirements under Level 2 can be found on the provincial website.