HALIFAX -- Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting another death related to COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths in the province to 22.

Dr. Jennifer Russell announced Thursday that the latest death involves a person in their 80s who was a resident of Villa des Jardins, an adult residential facility in Edmundston.

It is the second COVID-19 related death reported this week in an Edmundston area long-term care facility.

On Tuesday, Public Health confirmed a person in their 80s who was a resident of Manoir Belle Vue in Edmundston had died as a result of underlying complications, including COVID-19.

“I would like to express my sincere condolences on behalf of all New Brunswickers, to the loved ones of the people who passed away this week due to COVID-19. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of both these individuals during this difficult time,” said New Brunswick Health Minister Dorothy Sheppard during Thursday’s news update.


New Brunswick reported two new cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday.

  • One case in the Moncton region (Zone 1) involving an individual in their 20s.
  • One case in the Edmundston region (Zone 4) involving an individual 19 and under.

Fifteen previously reported cases have recovered, leaving the province with 161 active cases. 

New Brunswick has had 1,377 confirmed cases since the pandemic began. In total, 1,193 people have recovered, and 22 people have died as a result of the novel coronavirus.

Six people are currently in hospital, with two in the intensive care unit.

Public health says 1,232 COVID-19 tests were completed on Wednesday– 214,163 tests have been administered in total since the pandemic began.

The number of cases are broken down by New Brunswick’s seven health zones:

  • Zone 1 – Moncton region: 330 confirmed cases (27 active cases)
  • Zone 2 – Saint John region: 221 confirmed cases (4 active cases)
  • Zone 3 – Fredericton region: 238 confirmed cases (8 active cases)
  • Zone 4 – Edmundston region: 372 confirmed cases (120 active cases)
  • Zone 5 – Campbellton region: 182 confirmed cases (zero active cases)
  • Zone 6 – Bathurst region: 26 confirmed cases (2 active cases)
  • Zone 7 – Miramichi region: 8 confirmed cases (zero active cases)


An infectious disease specialist gave a presentation on COVID-19 variants during Thursday’s briefing, after a fourth case of the U.K. COVID-19 variant was confirmed in the province.

Public Health says since Dec. 23, 2020, 213 COVID-positive samples have been sent to Winnipeg’s National Microbiology Laboratory.

Of those samples, four have tested positive for the UK variant, 169 have returned negative for the variant and 40 are pending.

“Spike protein mutations make the new variants 50 per cent more contagious,” said Dr. Gordon Dow, infectious disease specialist with Horizon Health Network. “Three or four weeks ago, the reproduction rate of the virus was about 1.5, which would have led to about 675 infections and five deaths over one month. If we make the virus 50 per cent more contagious, the reproduction rate would be 2.25, which over one month, would have seen over 2,000 infections and 18 deaths.”

“The good news is that public health measures work against these new variants. If we follow these measures, the reproduction rate could be reduced to below one, which would mean a significant reduction of infection numbers and deaths."

Dow said that, while the variants do pose a threat, New Brunswickers can control the spread of all strains of the virus by wearing a mask in public, maintaining a safe physical distance and getting tested if they have any symptoms.

Of the four confirmed cases of the U.K. variant in New Brunswick, one is located in the Moncton region (Zone 1), two are located in the Saint John region (Zone 2), and one is located in the Miramichi region (Zone 7).


Despite a drop in new cases in recent days, public health says it will be a few weeks before the province considers further easing restrictions.

"Health zones will need to remain in the orange level for at least two or three weeks, giving the province time to stabilize the number of COVID-19 cases before we can consider the possibility of moving to yellow," said New Brunswick Health Minister Dorothy Sheppard during Thursday’s news update. "The situation is still precarious and one wrong move could lead to an increase in cases."

Zone 4 (Edmundston region) remains in the Red level.

All other zones are at the Orange level under the province's mandatory order.

Shephard said she is hopeful all areas of the province will eventually be able to return to the Yellow level of recovery, and the Atlantic Bubble will be able to reopen.


According to New Brunswick's COVID-19 dashboard, the province has administered 18,643 doses of COVID-19 vaccine as of Monday. Of those, 5,347 people have received their second dose.

The province has received 25,850 doses of vaccine as of Monday, and are holding 7,207 in reserve for second dose and planned clinics.