N.B. reports eight new COVID-19 cases, one additional death in Bathurst region
HALIFAX -- New Brunswick reported the province's 43rd death related to COVID-19 on Wednesday.
Health officials say the individual was in their 90s in the Bathurst region (Zone 6).
“I am saddened to learn that another person has lost their life as a result of COVID-19,” said Dorothy Shephard, New Brunswick's Health Minister. “On behalf of all New Brunswickers, I offer my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of this individual.”
“Each loss experienced in our province due to COVID-19 is tragic, especially for the loved ones of the person who has died,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “I ask all New Brunswickers to join me in extending heartfelt condolences to those who are grieving this loss.”
EIGHT NEW CASES
Eight new cases of COVID-19 were also announced on Wednesday.
Six cases are in the Fredericton region (Zone 3) and involve:
- two people 19 and under
- an individual in their 20s
- two people in their 40s
- an individual in their 70s
Five of the cases in Zone 3 are close contacts to previously reported cases, while one is connected to travel.
One case is in the Saint John region (Zone 2) and involves an individual in their 50s. This case is related to travel and the individual is currently outside of the province.
The eighth case is in the province’s Edmundston region (Zone 4) and involves an individual in their 50s. This case was a close contact to a previously reported case.
According to a news release from the province, 12 of New Brunswick's previously reported cases are now resolved, with the total number of active cases dropping to 116.
CASES CONNECTED TO ISOLATION HOTEL
Public health confirmed Wednesday that 36 cases are now connected to a former isolation hotel.
Ten cases are directly linked to the Delta Fredericton, while 26 are contacts or contacts of contacts. Over 1,900 people are isolating in the Fredericton region.
Mayor Mike O’Brien is encouraging residents to shop local, but in the safest way possible.
"Don’t do unnecessary trips or visits within the city," he said. "Order online, order takeout. But right at the moment, it looks like things are being spread by a lot of people that may have been in contact, doing a lot of visits around the city – whether social or groceries. If it’s essential, it’s essential. If it’s not essential, just back off for a few weeks so we can get this wrestled to the ground."
CASE AT FREDERICTON CHRISTIAN ACADEMY
In a news release on Wednesday, Public Health says they confirmed a positive case of COVID-19 at the Fredericton Christian Academy on Tuesday and the school community has been notified.
The school is closed for the remainder of the week to allow for contact tracing to be completed.
"Public Health is advising all students and staff, and their households, to isolate until further communication is received from either Public Health or the school and to self-monitor for symptoms until May 28," wrote the province in a release.
The province says anyone who was a close contact with the case will be notified by Public Health with separate instructions.
TRAVEL BETWEEN N.B. AND N.S.
Health officials say increased screening has been added at the Sackville-Amherst border and at Baie-Verte-Tidnish Road.
In order to avoid disruptions, Public Health says travellers entering New Brunswick must be approved through the New Brunswick Travel Registration and have all supporting documents on-hand.
"Travel between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick continues to be restricted. Before you leave, make sure you are permitted to travel and check the travel restrictions that apply to your destination," wrote the province.
Frequent travellers between the two provinces may be eligible for a special pass to expedite travel during peak traffic periods. More information is available online.
VACCINE ROLLOUT EXPANDED
On Tuesday, New Brunswick health officials announced that they are expanding their vaccination program.
Effective immediately, individuals aged 18 and older are now eligible to book an appointment online for the COVID-19 vaccine though Vitalité or Horizon Health networks, or by contacting a participating pharmacy.
If a person, or a caregiver, or family member acting on their behalf, is unable to book an appointment at a clinic online, they may call 1-833-437-1424.
Walk-in appointments are not available. If you have a vaccination appointment that you cannot attend because you have been directed to self-isolate, please reschedule your appointment.
Dominic Cardy, New Brunswick's Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic, also said on Tuesday, that the department is working on a vaccine rollout plan for individuals aged 12 and older. He said he expects to announce details on those plans "very soon."
“Our goal is to make this process as easy as possible for families," Cardy said on Tuesday. "By working together and getting vaccinated as soon as we can, we can help keep our schools healthy and safe as we get ready for a new year."
PREMIER SEEKS LEGAL OPINION ON MANDATORY VACCINES FOR LTC WORKERS
Premier Blaine Higgs says his government is looking into whether it can legally require long-term care workers to get vaccinated.
There isn't a mandatory vaccination policy in New Brunswick, although the idea has made its way onto the floor of the legislature a couple times.
At the moment, about two-thirds of long-term care workers are vaccinated, but Higgs feels that number isn't high enough.
"Being in a health-care facility or long-term care facility, where they have certain standards they have to meet, I mean we had to do the protective clothing through all of COVID, so there's a number of standards," Higgs said. "So, is it a stretch to say well, in this vulnerable population, that may be a condition of employment?"
He says he has asked for a legal opinion on the topic.
N.B. COVID-19 CASE DATA
New Brunswick has had 2,091 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
In total, 1,931 people have recovered and 43 people have died in the province from COVID-19-related causes.
There are currently 11 people hospitalized in total; seven of these patients are hospitalized in New Brunswick, including two in intensive care units. Three patients are hospitalized outside of New Brunswick.
Public health says 1,791 tests were completed on Tuesday in New Brunswick, and 318,290 total since the start of the pandemic.
The number of cases are broken down by New Brunswick’s seven health zones:
- Zone 1 – Moncton region: 420 confirmed cases (17 active cases).
- Zone 2 – Saint John region: 291 confirmed cases (21 active cases).
- Zone 3 – Fredericton region: 330 confirmed cases (51 active cases).
- Zone 4 – Edmundston region: 751 confirmed cases (4 active cases).
- Zone 5 – Campbellton region: 185 confirmed cases (1 active case).
- Zone 6 – Bathurst region: 80 confirmed cases (18 active cases).
- Zone 7 – Miramichi region: 34 confirmed cases (4 active cases).
POTENTIAL COVID-19 EXPOSURE
New Brunswick reported two potential exposures of COVID-19 in the Fredericton region on Wednesday.
Anyone who was at the following locations during the specified dates and times should self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19.
- Irving Big Stop Blue Canoe restaurant (415 Nevers Rd., Waasis) on Friday, May 14
- Between 10:30 a.m. and noon
Symptoms may develop up to, and including, May 28
- Pizza Delight (243 St. Mary’s St., Fredericton) on Friday, May 14
- Between noon p.m. and 2 p.m.
- Symptoms may develop up to, and including, May 28
Public Health offers COVID-19 testing for all New Brunswickers who have been in a public exposure area, even if they are not experiencing any symptoms. Residents may request a test online or call Tele-Care 811 to get an appointment at the nearest screening centre.
People experiencing one or more symptoms are also encouraged to get tested.
For a list of potential COVID-19 exposures in New Brunswick, please refer to the page on the provincial government website.
According to New Brunswick's COVID-19 online dashboard, 373,309 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the province.
Approximately 48.9 per cent of the province's population eligible for the vaccine has received at least one dose.
NEW BRUNSWICK IN YELLOW ZONE
All of New Brunswick is currently in the Yellow level of restrictions under the province's mandatory order.