N.B.'s COVID-19 active case count drops Saturday as province works to contain several outbreaks
As New Brunswick deals with COVID-19 outbreaks throughout the province, residents say they aren't too concerned about the current active case count.
"All in all, I think this government has done a pretty good job. We're still pretty free and we can get vaccinated and we wear our masks,” said Peter Currie in Fredericton.
"I would still feel comfortable getting together with my immediate family and friends as I have done in the past. All of us are vaccinated so, that makes me feel safer,” Bill Mackenzie said.
On Friday, Horizon Health Network declared a COVID-19 outbreak at the Ridgewood Veterans Health Wing in Saint John.
The network also provided an update on the number of double-dosed public sector workers as their vaccine deadline arrived Friday.
"It's 3.7 per cent was the last percentage we heard and we have about 7,000 employees, so it would be, I'm guessing, around 250 that are in that situation and they'd be spread throughout the province," said Michael Keating, interim executive director of NB Association of Nursing Homes.
The impact of losing about 250 long-term care employees is unknown, but Keating says it was a risk they had to take.
"We've been planning for this for sometime, what the contingencies will be. People will have been making their schedules up and so on, so, we're hoping that the impact is not going to be too severe,” Keating said.
According to health officials, there are approximately 307 workers in government, 792 in education, 734 in the regional health authorities and Medavie and 162 within the Crown corporations who remain unvaccinated.
Public health also announced an outbreak at Dorchester Penitentiary in Dorchester, N.B., with 37 active cases, involving three employees and 34 inmates.
In a news release on Friday, Correctional Services Canada (CSC) said family visits are temporarily suspended at the medium security facility, but there are other options available, such as video visitation or telephone.
"We continue to actively screen all individuals entering the institution and decisions regarding access to the site, as well as programs and services are made in consideration of public health principles. All staff and inmates are equipped with medical masks, and we have increased cleaning and disinfecting throughout the site. In addition, all staff are equipped with face shields,” wrote CSC in a news release.
"The outbreak was contained to a cohort of the institution, so meaning not all of the units. We had established certain cohorts so that not everybody was interacting with the entire population. So, what we can say is based on that, is that that has now at least been contained in a certain area of the institution,” said Darcy LeBlanc, regional administrator of Communications and Executive Services, CSC – Atlantic Region.
Close to 86 per cent of the inmates at Dorchester Penitentiary medium-level security unit are fully-vaccinated and over 88 per cent have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.