Person in their 20s is youngest in N.B. to die of COVID-19; province lifts lockdown in Edmundston region
HALIFAX -- New Brunswick Public Health said Tuesday afternoon that a person in their 20s who lives in the Moncton region is the youngest person in the province to die of COVID-19.
When asked for more information about the case, Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health, said the case was travel-related and the person contracted the variant first identified in the U.K. She said couldn't release much more because of privacy regulations.
It is the 36th COVID-19-related death in the province since the pandemic began.
The province also reported 24 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. Of those, 21 are in Zone 4 (the Edmundston region) and are connected to the outbreak at Pavillon Beau Lieu, a special care home in Grand Falls, N.B.
Russell says New Brunswick now has the variant first identified in South Africa in Zone 2 (the Saint John region) and in Grand Falls, the variant first identified in the United Kingdom in Zone 1 (Moncton region) and Zone 4 and the variant first discovered in India in Zone 3 (the Fredericton region).
Russell says public health is closely monitoring the situation in the Fredericton region. In coming days will determine if new restrictions are required in that zone.
Russell also said that it should be assumed at this point, that all new cases in New Brunswick originate from one of the new variant strains.
"They are dominating the viral landscape," Russell says.
Public Health has recommended that the part of the Edmundston region under lockdown move to the orange alert phase starting at midnight Tuesday.
"As one threat recedes, new ones emerge," Russell said.
Premier Blaine Higgs says 34 per cent of New Brunswickers have received their first dose of the vaccine, the highest figure in the Maritimes.
Higgs reminded New Brunswickers once again of the dangers related to travel.
"There are cases all around us in Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Maine, but we are doing our best to avoid a situation like that here in New Brunswick," Higgs said. "We cannot lose hope, must stay diligent."
Higgs said that unless the travel is essential, it should be avoided and many people have a misguided understanding of what "essential" means.
Russell reiterated the danger of travel – both international and even inter-provincial.
"There is a fire around us and we are feeling that heat," said Russell.