HALIFAX -- New Brunswick reported a death, 15 new cases, and confirmed a case of the U.K. variant of COVID-19 in a news release on Tuesday afternoon.

Public Health said a person in their 80s who was a resident of Manoir Belle Vue in Edmundston has died as a result of underlying complications, including COVID-19. This brings the total number of COVID-related deaths in the province to 21.

"This person is survived by family and friends who are now grieving their loss," said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. "Our thoughts and prayers are with them and with everyone who has lost a loved one to this virus."


Public Health also announced on Tuesday that a sample sent to Winnipeg’s National Microbiology Laboratory earlier this month from Moncton’s Dr. Georges-L-Dumont University Hospital Centre’s microbiology laboratory has been confirmed as a COVID-19 U.K. variant.

The case is related to international travel and was previously reported in the Moncton region. The person has been self-isolating.

"The confirmation of a fourth New Brunswick case of the U.K. variant is a reminder of the importance of not letting down our guard where this virus is concerned,” said New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs. "COVID-19 has already taken too much away from us. We must continue to work together and do everything in our power to ensure it has no opportunity to spread further."

Health officials are still waiting on confirmation of a suspected case too.

The province sends any travel outside of Canada-related cases to the national lab in Winnipeg to see if they could be a variant of the virus.

And now, about 25 per cent of tests are also sent for random sampling.

A spokesperson for public health said today they maybe expand this and send along more samples.


Here are the details on the 15 new cases:

The two cases in Zone 1 (Moncton region) are as follows:

  • a person in their 20s; and
  • a person in their 30s.

The three cases in Zone 2 (Saint John region) are as follows:

  • a person 19 and under;
  • a person in their 20s; and
  • a person in their 70s.

The 10 cases in Zone 4 (Edmundston region) are as follows:

  • a person 19 and under;
  • a person in their 40s;
  • four people in their 60s;
  • two people in their 70s; and
  • two people in their 80s.

Six of the 10 cases in Zone 4 are related to the outbreak at Villa des Jardins, an adult residential facility in Edmundston.

"It is disappointing to see cases in the double digits today in Zone 4, but it is not unexpected as the outbreaks at the two adult residential facilities remain a concern," Russell said. "We must all remain vigilant, especially with the arrival of new variants of the COVID-19 virus which can be transmitted more easily and spread more quickly."

There have been 1,361 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick since the pandemic began. Since Monday, 13 people have recovered for a total of 1,156 recoveries. As of Tuesday afternoon, there are 183 active cases. Of those, seven people are hospitalized, and two are in intensive care. On Monday, New Brunswick Public Health conducted 1,250 tests, raising the overall total of tests to 212,167.


Public health confirmed a positive case of COVID-19 at St. Stephen High School.

"Students stayed home today as contact tracing was conducted," the province wrote in a release. "If you or a family member have been in close contact with a case, you will be notified by Public Health for contact tracing. If you do not hear directly from Public Health, you have not been identified as a close contact."


Paula Doucet, the New Brunswick Nurses Union president, says nurses are concerned about these variants appearing in hospitals and nursing homes and she's been reminding them that personal protective equipment like gowns, masks and gloves are critical.

"Very early on when the pandemic was declared, there was some question about accessibility and how much of a stockpile we did have here in New Brunswick," Doucet said. "You know, here we are, 11 months in and I'm assured that we still have the necessary supplies available. I am told that accessibility has become a little bit easier for those working within COVID units, within COVID areas, you know, if a suspect case comes in that there is access to PPE."


Public health also identified a positive case today in a traveller who may have been infectious while on the following flights:

  • Air Canada Flight 8918 on Jan. 27;
  • From Toronto to Moncton departed at 8:30 a.m.; and
  • Air Canada Flight 8906 on Jan. 28;
  • From Montreal to Moncton departed at 6:48 p.m.


Francophone schools in Zone 4 reopened on Tuesday while Anglophone schools in Zone 4 will reopen on Wednesday.