New Brunswick moves Saint John region back to Orange; reports nine new cases and outbreak at nursing home
HALIFAX -- There are nine new cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick, including seven in the Saint John region, which is moving back into the Orange phase.
It's the second day in a row that the province has moved a zone from Yellow back to the Orange level of restrictions.
Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health, says that the number of cases in the Zone 2 (the Saint John region) has doubled in the last two days.
"The contact tracing has revealed that some of this spread is happening in areas – number one – where there is a super spreader event, and there are some super spreaders involved in some of the cases, so we are expecting more cases to pop up," Russell said. "And, the fact that there are so many healthcare workers involved at this moment in time who are self-isolating."
Russell added that public health staff expect many of the people who are already self-isolating to eventually test positive.
She said the new cases are being spread in community settings, in health care settings, and in a long-term care home.
"This is not the time for large public gatherings," Russell said.
Russell says there is an outbreak at Shannex Tucker Hall in Saint John and all staff and residents are in self-isolation and being tested she said.
"We are continuing to see an increased number of cases of COVID-19 in the province, especially in Zone 2 the Saint John region,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. “It is important to note that if we can’t get the numbers under control quickly in the Saint John region, we may need to move it to the Red level."
The nine new cases reported on Friday bring the province's total of active cases to 51. One person is in hospital. The other two cases reported Friday are in the Moncton region.
"It is true that our numbers are low compared to other provinces, but this is no cause for complacency," Russell said. "I strongly encourage everyone to limit their close contacts to the greatest extent possible."
Russell recommends no non-essential travel inside & outside of the orange phase zones.
New Brunswick has had 401 confirmed cases and of those, 343 have recovered. There have been six deaths. As of Friday, 114,020 tests have been conducted.
"As I have said before, the best approach is to assume that everyone may have the COVID-19 virus, and act accordingly," said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. "I also recommend that everyone in New Brunswick, no matter where you live, have a contingency plan ready if you are required to self-isolate."