Two new cases in N.B. show how 'COVID-19 can strike any person, at any age'
HALIFAX -- The two new cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick show how dangerous the virus can be.
"COVID-19 can strike any person, at any age, in any community of our province," Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health said Tuesday at a news conference in Fredericton.
“That is why it remains vital that every New Brunswicker stay at home as much as possible. When people go out, they should keep their interactions brief and maintain six feet of physical distance between themselves and others.”
The new cases are a person aged 10 to 19 in the Fredericton region and a person aged 70 to 79 in the Miramichi region. They bring the province's total to 105.
Of the 105 cases, 59 are travel-related, 33 are close contacts of confirmed cases, six cases are from community transmission, and seven cases remain under investigation.
Ten patients were hospitalized, but three have since gone home. Seven patients remain in hospital, with four in an intensive care unit. So far, 39 people have recovered from the virus.
Russell also clarified why public health officials are recommending the use of face coverings in public. She said it's to protect other people -- not the person wearing them. If you are not showing symptoms you could still spread the virus and the face-coverings help prevent this.
It is also an additional measure, she said, and is not meant to replace physical distancing, hand washing, and thorough cleaning of high-touch surfaces.
"These practices continue to be more important than wearing a mask," Russell said.
Russell also said the province is expanding testing criteria COVID-19.
“We continue to be focused on testing the right people, at the right time,” said Russell. “Travel outside New Brunswick will no longer be the key determinant in referring people for testing. However, an assessment is still required through 811 or an individual’s primary health-care provider.”
Russell said New Brunswick is testing anywhere between 200 and 600 people per day. It has the capacity to test as many as 1,000 per day.
She said the province is following the guidelines set by Canadian public health officials and opting for focused testing, rather than mass testing, and using the health system's capacity to conduct the appropriate tests at the right time.
"The people who should be tested will be tested," Russell said.