New Brunswick reports 14 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, will continue AstraZeneca vaccines for residents 55 and older
HALIFAX -- Public health in New Brunswick reported 14 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. Seven previously reported cases are now considered resolved, with the total number of active cases in the province increasing to 126.
Tuesday's new cases involve:
- Eight new cases in the Edmundston region (Zone 4), all involving contacts of previously reported cases.
- Four new cases in the Moncton region (Zone 1), all related to travel.
- One new case in the Fredericton region (Zone 3), related to travel.
- One new case in the Saint John region (Zone 2) related to travel.
At Tuesday's live update, N.B. Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jennifer Russell said there are currently over 1,000 New Brunswickers in self-isolation to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
Russell also announced a previously reported case in the Moncton region (Zone 1), has been removed from the province's reporting, due to a false positive test.
"As the only thing that is predictable about this pandemic is its unpredictability, we must continue to be flexible," said Russell. "There will be more outbreaks and other challenges along the way, and when they occur we must respond surely and swiftly. We ask all New Brunswickers to be flexible as well, because that is how we will keep one another healthy and safe."
Of the province's 126 active cases, 100 are located in the Edmundston region, which has seen 73 new cases in the last six days, and went into a 'Red level circuit breaker' on March 25.
The province also announced on Monday that it was expanding the area covered by the Red level in Zone 4 (the Edmundston region).
"The circuit breaker for Zone 4 is working, but more time is needed to see it's full effect," said Russell on Tuesday. "We will continue to assess it's impact and determine when and how restrictions can be modified."
As of Monday at midnight, the communities of Saint-Léonard, Grand Falls, Drummond, New Denmark and Four Falls will be included along with the previously indicated areas of Edmundston and the upper Madawaska region.
"Public Health made the recommendation to the all-party cabinet committee on COVID-19 and to cabinet to extend the area in which the Red level applies, with the exception of the Saint-Quentin and Kedgwick regions, based on the confirmed presence of the more contagious variants of COVID-19 along with the possibility of community transmission," the province wrote in a news release.
On Thursday and Friday last week, 3,335 asymptomatic people were screened in Zone 4 and three of them tested positive for COVID-19.
N.B. COVID-19 CASE DATA
New Brunswick has had 1,601 cumulative confirmed cases since the pandemic began. In total, 1,444 people have recovered, and 30 people have died in the province from COVID-19.
Five people are in hospital as a result of COVID-19, with two people in the intensive care unit.
Public health says 1,406 tests were completed on Monday in New Brunswick, and 254,728 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: 357 confirmed cases (12 active cases)
- Zone 2 – Saint John region: 231 confirmed cases (7 active cases)
- Zone 3 – Fredericton region: 247 confirmed cases (4 active cases)
- Zone 4 – Edmundston region: 529 confirmed cases (100 active cases)
- Zone 5 – Campbellton region: 182 confirmed cases (0 active cases)
- Zone 6 – Bathurst region: 29 confirmed cases (2 active cases)
- Zone 7 – Miramichi region: 26 confirmed cases (1 active case)
ASTRAZENECA VACCINE WILL CONTINUE FOR ADULTS 55 AND OLDER
New Brunswick announced Tuesday that they will continue to administer the AstraZeneca vaccine to residents ages 55 and older, after suspending the use of the vaccine for individuals under 55 on Monday.
"These vaccine induced blood clots have not been reported in Canada, but we have nevertheless made adjustments to our vaccination program to enhance safety and minimize risk," said Russell during Tuesday’s news update.
On Monday, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommended pausing administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine to those under the age of 55, pending further investigation on reported cases of vaccine-induced prothrombotic immune thrombocytopenia (VIPIT), a rare blood clotting disorder, in Europe.
New Brunswick health says as of Tuesday, 7,355 residents received a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and 75 per cent of them are under the age of 55.
On Tuesday, New Brunswick Health announced that an AstraZeneca vaccination clinic will occur on April 1 in the Saint John region (Zone 2). Anyone who is interested in booking an appointment can by visiting the province's website, or by calling 1-833-437-1424.
Public Health says the clinic is being held in Saint John because that is where AstraZeneca doses are currently located. Another 30,000 AstraZeneca vaccines are expected to arrive in New Brunswick over the coming week and more clinics will be opened to those 55 and older.
"For anyone who is 55 and over and unsure about the safety of this vaccine, I can assure you that it is safe, and I would have no problem recommending it or taking it myself," added Russell.
Beginning Tuesday, planned clinics for first responders will proceed using the Pfizer vaccine, while planned clinics for high school teachers will be rescheduled soon.
"Even with this change, we will still have enough doses of vaccine to meet our goal of providing at least one vaccine dose to each New Brunswicker before Canada Day, if everything goes well with respect to distribution," said Russell.
New Brunswick's COVID-19 online dashboard provides an update on the amount of vaccines that have been administered to date.
As of Tuesday, 91,377 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered so far. Of those, 79,151 were first doses and 12,226 people have received two doses of vaccine.
As of Friday, the province has received a total of 123,115 doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
POTENTIAL EXPOSURE AT EDMUNDSTON GYM
Public Health has identified a potential public exposure to the virus at a gym in Edmundston:
- Sparta Progression Gym, 113 D 44th Ave., on March 22 between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m.
People who were in this facility during those dates and times should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days after their visit. Should any COVID-19 symptoms develop, they are directed to self-isolate and take the self-assessment online or to call 811 to get tested.
REST OF PROVINCE AT YELLOW LEVEL
All other zones, including the communities outside the circuit breaker in Zone 4, remain in the Yellow level under the province’s mandatory order.