No new cases in New Brunswick for sixth time in the last week
HALIFAX -- No new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in New Brunswick for the sixth time in the last seven days.
Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health, said Wednesday afternoon there were 260 tests processed during the last 24 hours.
The province's total number of confirmed cases since the pandemic began remains at 118. Of those, 104 have recovered.
Dr. Russell encouraged New Brunswickers to keep doing what they have been doing and said this is the "new normal" until a vaccine is discovered. She urged people to continue practising physical distancing when they go out and to continue with all the good hygiene techniques, such as frequent hand washing and cleaning high-contact surfaces regularly.
Keeping up with all of these practices will help prevent the re-emergence of the virus, she said.
“This is not the end,” Dr. Russell said. “I ask that you continue to observe the restrictions set under the provincial state of emergency and continue to take precautions against the spread of the virus, even when those restrictions have been eased.”
Premier Blaine Higgs said he's pleased that citizens are following the rules of the state of emergency order. He said only 29 tickets had been issued as of Monday.
“The level of co-operation across New Brunswick, from law enforcement officials to the individuals patiently waiting in line at the grocery stores, is amazing,” said Higgs. “New Brunswick is on the right track and thanks to everyone’s co-operation we anticipate that we will be able to reduce some of the restrictions under the emergency order very soon.”
Higgs said the all-party committee was meeting Wednesday night to discuss the economic recovery plan for the province.
Krista Ross, the CEO of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, says businesses want to be part of the conversation on what "recovery" looks like.
"Businesses are very anxious to have an opportunity to do business again, to be open, to be able to serve their clients, to be able to keep their staff employed, to be able to take home a paycheque," Ross said.
There will be requirements such as keeping a distance, wearing masks, and regular handwashing.
Those are just a few of the realities businesses will likely face, once they're allowed to reopen, but there are more details that still have to be worked out.
"How will we determine when it's time?" Ross says. "What types of metrics will they be using? What types of industries and businesses will open first? What size of business? Will it be by region, will it be by size, or will it be by types of business?"
Higgs reminded people that under the state of emergency, which was extended to May 1, open fires are banned.
The province also announced that it was purchasing iPad tablets to help nursing home residents stay in touch with their families. Each nursing home will get one tablet for every 10 residents, which is about 480 province-wide.
"We understand how difficult it is for nursing home residents to be cut off from their families," Higgs said. "We hope this will give residents and staff a great option to help keep families as close as possible under the circumstances."