New Brunswick reports two more COVID-19 deaths and 133 new cases
New Brunswick Public Health said Thursday afternoon that two more people have died as a result of COVID-19, raising the total of COVID-19-related deaths in the province to 82.
A person in their 70s in Zone (Fredericton region) and a person over the age of 90 in Zone 7 (Miramichi region) are the latest victims of the novel coronavirus.
"It is heartbreaking to learn today that two more people have passed away as a result of the virus," Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health, said in a news relese. "I share my condolences with the family and friends who are mourning the loss of these individuals. We all have a role to play in helping to get COVID-19 under control, which includes following the rules under the mandatory order and getting fully vaccinated if you have not already done so."
New Brunswick has 63 people in hospital due to the virus, with 19 in an intensive-care unit.
"Of those in hospital, 39 are unvaccinated, five are partially vaccinated and 19 are fully vaccinated," New Brunswick Public Health said in a news release. "Of the 19 in an intensive care unit, 17 are unvaccinated and two are partially vaccinated."
Public health reported 133 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and 102 recoveries, increasing the number of active cases to 1,103.
Of the new cases, 75 – or 56 per cent – are unvaccinated, 10 – or eight per cent – are partially vaccinated, and 48 – or 36 per cent – are fully vaccinated, public said in a news release.
"We know that fully vaccinated individuals are much less likely to become hospitalized or lose their life if they are exposed to the virus," Premier Blaine Higgs said in a news release. "I urge any eligible New Brunswicker who has not yet been vaccinated to book an appointment immediately to protect yourself and your loved ones."
In an interview with CTV Atlantic, infectious disease researcher and specialist Dr. Lisa Barrett said it is not surprising that there are as many breakthrough cases as there have been. A breakthrough case is when someone is fully vaccinated and still gets COVID-19.
"We're getting into a phase where so many more human beings in the provinces, thank goodness, are vaccinated, and therefore, if only a small percentage of vaccinated folks become sick or very sick and or become infected, that number will still increase, because the number of vaccinated people increases," Barrett said. "I will say that, that also relies on the fact that there is spread in the community, and so, that's also one of the factors going on here is that they still have community spread that's driving this."
Breakthrough cases do not mean that the COVID-19 vaccine doesn't work, Barrett said.
"I think that's really important for people to know and understand," Barrett said. "That means vaccines are doing exactly what they're supposed to do. There are fewer people in hospital, but still some people do get sick, which is why we're just not letting this virus grow to huge numbers, even among vaccinated people."
Barrett said infectious disease experts who have been studying COVID-19 don't think it will be going away anytime soon – and will likely be around for a couple more years.
"It's well adapted to humans, and it lets a lot of people survive and that's what a virus needs to do to survive," Barrett said. "I think it's also worth pointing out that the vaccine does seem to reduce transmission from one person to another, even if you've got the infection, so that's another valuable piece for you protecting your family. Even if you get infected, you're less likely to spread -- just not zero likelihood of spreading, which is where during times in a wave, when we have community spread asymptomatic testing is such an additional extra important tool to add in."
N.B. EXPANDS RAPID-TESTING PROGRAM IN CIRCUIT-BREAKER ZONES
If you live in a circuit breaker area and do not have COVID-19 symptoms, you will be able to pick up free rapid-test kits you can administer at home. They will be available in the following locations on Saturday, Oct. 16, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Magic Mountain parking lot, 150 Magic Mountain Rd., Moncton
- Perth-Andover Middle School, 20 Nissen St., Perth-Andover
- Town Hall (rear parking lot), 131 Pleasant St., Grand Falls
The program is for people who are aged two and older who do not have symptoms and have not been identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case.
"It is so important that anyone who has a positive result on a rapid test contacts an assessment centre to get a PCR test," said Russell. "Everyone must remember that a rapid test reflects a person’s status for that moment in time."
The province says while it is starting the program in circuit-breaker areas, it plans to expand it across the province.
ALL HOSPITALS AT RED-LEVEL PROTOCOL
With the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, all hospitals have returned to the Red-level protocols, which means they are only open for essential services.
"Measures are in place to address the strain on health-care workers and on the system," public health said in a news release.
Public Health reported today that 81.8 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 91.0 per cent have received their first dose of a vaccine.
All eligible New Brunswickers can book a second-dose appointments for a date at least 28 days after their first dose.
A list of upcoming mobile and walk-in clinics is available online.
CONFIRMED CASES IN SCHOOLS AND CHILD-CARE FACILITIES
Positive cases have been confirmed in schools and child-care facilities in zones 1 (Moncton region), 2 (Saint John region), 3 (Fredericton region), 5 (Campbellton region), 6 (Bathurst region) and 7 (Miramichi region).
The respective school or child-care communities have been notified. If you or a family member have been in close contact with a case, you will be notified by Public Health or the school or facility for contact tracing. If you are not notified directly, you have not been identified as a close contact.
Under New Brunswick’s Healthy and Safe Schools guidelines, schools with cases may close or move to online learning for at least one calendar day to support contact tracing, risk assessments and operational responses. Districts have contacted families directly with specific information regarding any impact on learning, including information on home learning, if required.
- Zone 1 (Moncton region) – A new case or cases have been confirmed at École Le Sommet in Moncton and École Mont-Carmel in Sainte-Marie-de-Kent, which were both previously impacted. A case has also been confirmed Wee College Crandall in Moncton.
- Zone 2 (Saint John region) – A new case has been confirmed at Campobello Island Consolidated School, which was previously impacted.
- Zone 3 (Fredericton region) – A new case has been confirmed at Hartland Community School, which was previously impacted.
- Zone 5 (Campbellton region) – A new case has been confirmed at École la Mosaïque du Nord in Balmoral, which was previously impacted. A case has been confirmed at Garderie des Grands Amis in Dundee.
- Zone 6 (Bathurst region) – A case has been confirmed at Halte scolaire Le Tremplin and Halte scolaire Le Tremplin 2, both located in Tracadie.
- Zone 7 (Miramichi region) – A new case has been confirmed at King Street Elementary School in Miramichi, which was previously impacted.
Since Sept. 7, 98 schools and 53 early learning and child-care facilities have had confirmed cases of COVID-19.
REGIONAL BREAKDOWN OF NEW CASES
Here is a regional breakdown of the new cases:
- 39 new cases in Zone 1 (Moncton region), including 15 people aged 19 and under;
- nine new cases in Zone 2 (Saint John region);
- 25 new cases in Zone 3 (Fredericton region), including 13 people aged 19 and under;
- 29 new cases in Zone 4 (Edmundston region);
- 17 new cases in Zone 5 (Campbellton region);
- three new cases in Zone 6 (Bathurst region);
- 11 new cases in Zone 7 (Miramichi region) are as follows.
Additional information is available on the COVID-19 dashboard.
POTENTIAL PUBLIC EXPOSURES
A map of potential public exposures can also be found on the COVID-19 dashboard.
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