New Brunswick reports nine new cases of COVID-19; outbreak at special care home in Shediac
HALIFAX -- New Brunswick is reporting nine new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, as well as an outbreak at a special care home in Shediac.
Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health, said there is one confirmed case in an employee at Ti Bons Soins, a memory care home in Shediac. The PROMPT team is on scene and testing of residents and staff started on Tuesday.
"We are working hard to protect our most vulnerable residents,” said Russell. "While vaccinations are helping, we must remain vigilant to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities."
Of the new cases, there are six in Zone 1 (the Moncton region) including three who are contacts of previous cases and three are travel related. There are also three new cases in Zone 3 (the Fredericton region), who are contacts of previous cases.
New Brunswick has 134 active cases, 10 of which are people isolating outside the province. There are five people in hospital, including one in intensive care. There have been 43 deaths.
On Monday, public health staff conducted 1,101 tests, raising the total since the pandemic began to 325,858.
Russell said the situation in Zone 3 remains concerning, but contact tracing is continuing and all active cases can be linked to one another. Any that cannot, are linked to travel, and according to Russell, vaccinations have meant fewer people in Zone 3 have had to seek treatment in hospital.
Some of the recent cases in Fredericton include two at Priestman Street School, one at Connaught Street School, and two at the Fredericton YMCA's daycare.
Many have wondered why the region hasn't gone back a level.
"Yes, we have rising case numbers, but they are not exceeding our ability to contact trace, they are not exceeding our ability to test, so our capacity is great," Russell said. "We’re testing about 400 people a day here in Fredericton, and one of the big ones is public compliance with public health measures, we’re seeing people complying and cooperating."
The Chalmers hospital's outbreak will also be declared over at midnight Tuesday with no evidence of transmission at all.
Russell says 56 per cent of New Brunswickers over the age of 12 have had their first dose of the vaccine. Every region is over 50 per cent.
More than 60,500 people were vaccinated in New Brunswick last week.
"We continue to make incredible progress in rolling out our vaccination plan," said Premier Blaine Higgs. "We expect that 60 per cent of New Brunswickers will be vaccinated by the end of this week. This is positive news, but even if you have received your first dose or are fully vaccinated, it is imperative that everyone continues to follow the guidelines for the Yellow alert level."
Higgs says the province is "working hard to come up with a plan," to establish how the province will transition to the Green level of restrictions. He says they want to do it right, and not rush this plan.
"Everyone has an important role to play and vaccines are indeed our path to green," Higgs said.
New Brunswick released a list of potential public exposures sites that can be found on a page on the provincial government website.