New Brunswick reports 3 new cases, discourages non-essential travel to 'hot zones'
HALIFAX -- New Brunswick reported three new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.
There are two new cases in Zone 2 (the Saint John region). One person is in their 50s and the other person is in their 70s. Both are cases are under investigation, said Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health.
There is also one new travel-related case in Zone 6, (the Bathurst region) and that person is in their 30s.
All three people are self-isolating.
"I do want to thank everyone who is self-isolating," Russell said. "There are upwards of 1,000 and their cooperation is crucial in slowing the further spread of the COVID-19 virus."
Russell says as health officials navigate a second wave, she's asking that people prepare to self-isolate at some point.
"Make a plan today," she said. "Don't just assume this will happen to someone else, because it could very well happen to you and your family and you need to be ready."
There are 94 active cases in New Brunswick and one person is in hospital.
Dorothy Shephard, the province's minister of social development, said that on Tuesday, 1,384 people requested a COVID test online, including 503 requests in the Saint John region.
"Priority groups are being tested first. Public health is working with all of its partners, including the regional health authorities to address additional volumes by increasing hours and capacity."
"As active cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in our province and across the country, it is understandable that stress and anxiety are also increasing," said Shephard. "On top of this, people who are currently waiting to be tested for COVID-19 are frustrated. We are seeing an increase in the demand for testing as of late, and we are working hard to address it."
Shephard encouraged people to take a different approach to gathering for the holidays this year.
"Traditionally, this is a time we connect with family and friends, and while we still need to do that, we must do it differently this year," Shephard said.
Russell also discouraged people from travelling to the "hot zones" in the Maritimes.
"Halifax is a hot zone with community spread," Russell said. "We are discouraging all non-essential travel to Halifax, as well as to the orange zones in the Saint John and Moncton regions."
Shephard also encouraged New Brunswickers to take care of themselves and each out to others who might be feeling lonely or need support.
"COVID-19 fatigue is real," Shephard said. "It isn't a diagnosis, but rather a description for a range of symptoms and frustrations with the prolonged pandemic response. The longer this pandemic goes on, the bigger the impact COVID-19 fatigue has on our mental health. It's important to know that you are not alone in feeling the way you do. In fact, all of us will likely experience increased feelings of social isolation and loneliness. This is true at any time of the year. I think those feelings will be even stronger during our holiday season."