New Brunswick to move all zones to yellow phase of recovery Sunday; four new cases of COVID-19
HALIFAX -- New Brunswick will move the entire province to the yellow phase of recovery, effective midnight Sunday.
“This is based on our continued positive trajectory of declining COVID-19 cases in these zones, and public health’s assessment of ongoing risk,” said N.B. Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jennifer Russell during Friday’s update. “If there is a significant change over the weekend, we will revisit the decision."
Last week, an updated yellow level was announced with the following changes:
- Residents will be allowed to expand their 'steady 10' bubble to a 'steady 15' list of consistent contacts, in addition to their household bubble. They may visit venues together, including dining out at restaurants.
- Sports teams will be allowed to play within their league across zones, following their operational plan. Tournaments or larger events within a zone may be permitted, subject to approval of the plan.
- Formal indoor gatherings will be permitted with an operational plan in place as long as the venue is at 50 per cent capacity or less and physical distance can be maintained.
- Formal and informal outdoor gatherings of 50 people or fewer will be permitted with physical distancing in place.
A complete list of the updated Yellow level guidelines are available online.
“Our case numbers do remain low, we’re going in the right direction, and I’m very proud of all the work New Brunswickers have done to help us get to this point," added Russell.
The move to Yellow phase applies to the Miramichi region, despite an increase in active case numbers in recent days, including a case of the B.1.1.7 variant, first identified in the U.K.
"I am concerned about the rising number of cases in the Miramichi region and public health is monitoring that situation very closely," said Russell during Friday's news update. "As of right now, the Miramichi region will be moving to the yellow phase along with the rest of the province, but we have a lot of tests results pending and will be watching very closely.”
Since Feb. 19, 11 new cases have been identified in the Miramichi region.
FOUR NEW CASES
New Brunswick Public Health is reporting four new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. Seven previously reported cases are now considered recovered, as the number of active cases in the province drops to 33.
Three new cases were identified in the Miramichi region (Zone 7) involving three people in their 50s. All cases are self-isolating.
One new case was identified in the Fredericton region (Zone 3) involving a person in their 40s. Public health says the case is travel related, and the individual is self-isolating.
New Brunswick has had 1,447 cumulative confirmed cases since the pandemic began. In total, 1,385 people have recovered, and 28 people have died in the province from COVID-19.
Three people are in hospital, two in the intensive care unit, with COVID-19.
Public health says 929 tests were completed on Thursday in New Brunswick, and 232,236 total since the start of the pandemic.
The number of cases are broken down by New Brunswick’s seven health zones:
- Zone 1 – Moncton region: 336 confirmed cases (4 active cases)
- Zone 2 – Saint John region: 222 confirmed cases (no active case)
- Zone 3 – Fredericton region: 240 confirmed cases (3 active cases)
- Zone 4 – Edmundston region: 421 confirmed cases (16 active cases)
- Zone 5 – Campbellton region: 182 confirmed cases (no active cases)
- Zone 6 – Bathurst region: 27 confirmed cases (no active cases)
- Zone 7 – Miramichi region: 19 confirmed cases (10 active cases)
CASES CONFIRMED AT MIRAMICHI SCHOOLS
Public health announced Friday that a second positive case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Miramichi Valley High School and the school community has been notified. The school is closed this week due to March Break.
Also, a case has been confirmed at the Miramichi Education Center in Miramichi and those who are affected have been notified.
Public health says anyone who has been in close contact with a case, will be notified by Public Health for contact tracing. If you do not hear directly from Public Health, you have not been identified as a close contact.
COVID-19 TESTING IN ZONE 7
With a number of cases appearing in Zone 7 (Miramichi region) earlier this week and the confirmation of the variant being present, a mass testing clinic has been set up to help determine if there has been any further spread in the area. This is available for individuals who do not have any symptoms of COVID-19 but want to be tested.
"The community is rising to the occasion in following the guidelines and doing what they can to minimize any further transmission in the community," said Adam Lordon, the mayor in Miramichi.
Testing is being held Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the gymnasium of the Dr. Losier Middle School, 124 Henderson St., Miramichi. An extra day of mass testing has also been added for Saturday, March 6, at the same location, also from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
No appointment is necessary. Screening tests will be done on a first-come, first-served basis. Asymptomatic people do not need to self-isolate while awaiting results, unless advised to do so by Public Health.
People with symptoms are asked to request a test online or call Tele-Care 811 to get an appointment at the nearest screening centre.
UPDATE ON VACCINES
New Brunswick's COVID-19 online dashboard now provides an update on the amount of vaccines that have been administered to date.
As of March 1, 33,741 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered so far, with 12,142 people in New Brunswick having received a second dose.
The province has received a total of 46,775 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, and are holding 13,034 in reserve for second doses and planned clinics.
Public Health says clinics for more than 2,400 residents at 121 licensed long-term care facilities are slated to take place this week, with first-dose clinics for residents of all licensed long-term care facilities expected to be completed by the week of March 14.
VEHICLE TRAFFIC INFORMATION
New Brunswick's online dashboard includes information about vehicle traffic attempting to enter the province.
On Thursday, 1,567 personal and 1,356 commercial vehicles attempted to cross the border into the province.
Of the vehicles attempting to cross the border, 22 were refused entry, for a refusal rate of 0.8 per cent.