New Brunswick to enter level one of COVID-19 winter plan at midnight
New Brunswick will enter into level one of its COVID-19 winter action plan as of 11:59 p.m. Saturday.
The province’s three level plan is to help curb the spread of COVID-19 during the winter months. It will be re-evaluated in spring.
New Brunswick’s Health Minister Dorothy Shephard said on Friday the action plan will help reduce the spread of the virus when combined with vaccinations and public health guidelines.
Shephard said the entire province will begin in level one, the lowest of the three levels, which is similar to the current measures that are in place.
Once level one takes effect, the province's health minister said that informal gatherings in homes will have a 20 person capacity and outside informal gatherings will be limited to 50 individuals. She is encouraging everyone to keep contacts as low as possible.
Under level one, Shephard said masks are required in outdoor public spaces where physical distancing is not possible.
Physical distancing between customers and patrons should also be followed at malls, grocery stores, salons, and other businesses.
There are two more levels of the winter action plan – they include lower capacity levels, travel restrictions and gathering limits.
Shephard said the province's education system will continue to follow its existing plan.
Details regarding New Brunswick's COVID-19 plan can be found on the province's website.
New Brunswick reported 77 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, along with 66 recoveries, bringing the total number of active cases in the province to 722.
According to the province, 12 of the new cases are in the Moncton region (Zone 1), 22 new cases are in the Saint John region (Zone 2), 22 of them are in the Fredericton region (Zone 3), one new case in the Edmundston region (Zone 4), there are five new cases in the Campbellton region (Zone 5), one new case in the Bathurst region (Zone 6) and 14 new cases in the Miramichi region (Zone 7.)
There are 51 people in hospital with the virus, including 16 in intensive care and ten people on a ventilator. The province says of those in hospital, 27 people are over the age of 60.
The province says 81.9 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 87.1 per cent have received their first dose of a vaccine.
The province said booster doses are available for those over 60, while booster eligibly will be expanded to those over 50 next week, and to 40 in the coming weeks.
New Brunswick’s Chief Medical Officer of Health said 80 New Brunswickers, who recently travelled to where the new variant is present, are being monitored for Omicron.
Dr. Russell said unvaccinated people are at a much greater risk of experiencing the worst effects of COVID-19.
POTENTIAL PUBLIC EXPOSURES
A full list of potential COVID-19 exposure notifications in New Brunswick can be found on the province's website.
Anyone with symptoms of the virus, as well as anyone who has been at the site of a possible public exposure, is urged to request a test online or call Tele-Care at 811 to get an appointment.