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N.B. reports two COVID-19 related deaths, as residents cautiously celebrate Thanksgiving

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HALIFAX -

New Brunswick is announcing two more deaths related to COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the total number of people who have died of the disease in the province to 74.

The latest deaths involve a person in their 70s in the Moncton region (Zone 1) and a person in their 80s in the Fredericton region (Zone 3).

"I encourage all New Brunswickers to keep these people’s loved ones in their thoughts,” said Premier Blaine Higgs in a news release. “We must all follow the rules and stay within our single household this Thanksgiving weekend to slow the spread and prevent future tragedies from occurring.”

“I send my heartfelt sympathies to the loved ones of the people who have lost their lives to COVID-19,” added Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “As we spend time with the people in our single household this weekend, please take steps to protect the people closest to you. Wear a mask in indoor public spaces, wash your hands frequently and book an appointment to get fully vaccinated if you have not already done so.”

The province has reported 18 COVID-19 related deaths since Tuesday, Sept. 28.

73 NEW CASES SUNDAY

Health officials in New Brunswick are also reporting 73 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, along with 38 recoveries, as the total number of active cases in the province rises to 962.

According to health officials, 45 of Sunday's 73 new cases, or 62 per cent, are not fully vaccinated. Fiftight een cases, or 11 per cent, are partially vaccinated, and 20 cases, or 27 per cent, are fully vaccinated.

The province says there are currently 53 people in hospital in New Brunswick due to COVID-19, with 22 in an intensive care unit. Of those currently in hospital, 42 are unvaccinated, three are partially vaccinated, and eight are fully vaccinated.

A senior’s advocate in the province says those hospitalization numbers are especially concerning.

"We're all being punished for the people who are out being, should be, responsible this is an important occasion, Thanksgiving it's just as important as Christmas, in fact it could be more important because sometimes at Christmas time we can't get together because of the weather,” said Cecile Cassista, executive director of the New Brunswick Coalition for Seniors.

THANKSGIVING WEEKEND GATHERING LIMITS

New Brunswickers are being asked to limit their Thanksgiving weekend gatherings to the people living in their household.

Sunday was a busy day at Isaac Way’s restaurant in downtown Fredericton, with patrons flocking to enjoy a turkey dinner outside their household bubble, while staying within the province’s restrictions.

"It's great for business most years thanksgiving weekend is pretty quiet, everybody goes home to families and has thanksgiving at home but this year with our regulations we're able to welcome them into the restaurant it's a lot busier, we have lots of reservations,” said Kristin Thurlow, Co-Owner/Manager of Isaac's Way.

With everyone in a Thanksgiving holiday weekend lockdown, restaurants are one of the only ways people of separate households can gather.

"So I am actually living in Saint John at the moment so I had plans to come home to Fredericton to see my family and things changed obviously, with the new COVID protocols so we had to resort to brunch at a restaurant so we're making that work,” said Shelby Harnish, who took advantage of the vaccination record screening to eat out.

Public health says all New Brunswickers, including those who are not covered by the circuit breaker, must not have gatherings anywhere other than a place at which the law requires proof of vaccination with anyone they do not currently live with during the Thanksgiving long weekend, between 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 8, and 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 11.

"We're pretty happy that the government has made regulations for everyone's safety and having people able to gather in a place that has identification, vaccination records, and is controlled that people can get together,” added Thurlow.

Public health says the household can be extended to include caregivers for any of those people, plus any parent, child, sibling, grandparent or grandchild of those people who requires support, along with any one additional person who lives alone at another address who requires support.

All businesses may remain open for regular operations but must follow measures listed under the mandatory order. This includes businesses that are not required to see proof of vaccination, such as hair salons, retail and grocery stores, and those that are required to request proof of vaccination, such as restaurants and entertainment venues. Children under 12 accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult will also be admitted.

COVID-19 CASE DATA

New Brunswick has had 5,160 cumulative cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

In total, 4,123 people have recovered and 74 people have died in the province from COVID-19.

Public health says a total of 489,917 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: 1,445 confirmed cases (351 active cases)
  • Zone 2 – Saint John region: 476 confirmed cases (70 active cases)
  • Zone 3 – Fredericton region: 1,112 confirmed cases (215 active cases)
  • Zone 4 – Edmundston region: 1,233 confirmed cases (154 active case)
  • Zone 5 – Campbellton region: 506 confirmed cases (90 active cases)
  • Zone 6 – Bathurst region: 260 confirmed cases (50 active cases)
  • Zone 7 – Miramichi region: 128 confirmed cases (32 active cases)

Nineteen new cases were reported in the Moncton region (Zone 1) involving:

  • five people age 19 and under
  • two people in their 20s
  • two people in their 30s
  • four people in their 40s
  • two people in their 50s
  • one person in their 60s
  • one person in their 70s
  • one person in their 80s
  • one person age 90 and over

Thirteen cases are under investigation and six are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

Ten new cases were reported in the Saint John region (Zone 2) involving:

  • two people age 19 and under
  • two people in their 20s
  • two people in their 30s
  • two people in their 50s
  • two people in their 60s

Seven cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases and three are under investigation.

Thirteen new cases were reported in the Fredericton region (Zone 3) involving:

  • three people age 19 and under
  • one person in their 20s
  • one person in their 40s
  • three people in their 50s
  • three people in their 60s
  • one person in their 70s
  • one person in their 80s

Eleven cases are under investigation and two are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

Eight new cases were reported in the Edmundston region (Zone 4) involving:

  • two people age 19 and under
  • one person in their 20s
  • one person in their 30s
  • four people in their 50s

Four cases are under investigation and four are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

Nineteen new cases were reported in the Campbellton region (Zone 5) involving:

  • four people age 19 and under
  • four people in their 20s
  • four people in their 30s
  • one person in their 40s
  • three people in their 50s
  • three people in their 60s

Fourteen cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases and five are under investigation.

Two new cases were reported in the Bathurst region (Zone 6), involving one person age 19 and under, and one person in their 40s. One case is under investigation and the other is a contact of a previously confirmed case.

VACCINE UPDATE

As of Sunday, 81.4 per cent of New Brunswickers age 12 and older are fully vaccinated and 90.6 per cent have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

In total, 1,197,985 vaccine doses have been administered in New Brunswick.

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

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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