'We have a solution to the pandemic' Higgs tells unvaccinated; N.B. reports 63 new cases to set single-day high
As New Brunswick reported a one-day high of 63 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, the province announced that it will require proof of vaccination starting next week to encourage more people to get vaccinated.
"If life is a little more difficult for those that choose not to be vaccinated at a time when other lives are threatened because of it, just maybe the decision will be made: 'OK it's time,"' said New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs.
The previous daily high was 51 on Sept 11. Before that, it was 36 on Jan. 17. The province also announced that 52 of the 63 new cases were people who were not fully vaccinated with two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Starting Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 11:59 p.m., people will be required to show proof of vaccination to go to indoor festivals, sports events, nightclubs, bars, restaurants, gyms and indoor group exercise facilities.
"It is imperative that we do what is needed to protect our residents while living with the reality that the virus is still with us,” said Higgs. “These changes are necessary to ensure that our province is able to remain in Green and avoid lockdowns, which we know are detrimental to businesses and people’s mental health. We also need to avoid overwhelming our health-care system."
New Brunswick also announced that people who live or work in communal settings, such as assisted living facilities, shelters, community kitchens and addiction and mental health treatment facilities will be required to either be fully vaccinated or wear a mask and be tested regularly for COVID-19.
"In addition, staff at nursing homes and adult residential facilities will be required to either be fully vaccinated or wear a mask and be tested regularly for COVID-19," Public Health said in a news release.
The province says it is working to develop a digital way to present proof and anyone entering New Brunswick will have to show proof of vaccination. Unvaccinated travelers will now have to isolate.
They are specifically targeting those between the ages of 12 and 50. About 65 per cent of those people are fully vaccinated, said Higgs. Enforcement will be monitoring compliance and, where necessary, enforce the new rules.
Higgs said the COVID-19 vaccine can help combat the virus, but more people must get vaccinated to provide the population with better protection.
"There will be consequences," Higgs said to those who don't follow the rules. "Now we have a solution. Take advantage of the solution."
DEATH TOLL RISES TO 48
Dr. Jennifer Russell has announced another death due to COVID-19 in the province.
This is the 48th person who has lost their life due to COVID-19 in New Brunswick. The person who died was in their 60s and lived in the Miramichi region.
According to Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health, there are now 12 people in the hospital with COVID-19, including seven in intensive care.
With the 63 new cases reported Wednesday, New Brunswick how has 293 active cases.
Here is a breakdown of new cases.
- 18 new cases in the Moncton region (Zone 1)
- One new case in the Saint John region (Zone 2)
- 19 new cases in the Fredericton region (Zone 3)
- Six new cases in the Edmundston region (Zone 4)
- 10 new cases in the Campbellton region (Zone 5)
- Four new cases in the Bathurst region (Zone 6)
- Five new cases in the Miramichi region (Zone 7)
CASES AT THREE SCHOOLS
Positive COVID-19 cases have been confirmed at three New Brunswick schools: Harrison Trimble High School in Moncton, J.M. Armstrong School in Salisbury, and Perth Andover Middle School.
Staff will report to work on Thursday, but students will move to distance learning.
As of Wednesday, 77.2 per cent of New Brunswickers age 12 and older are fully vaccinated and 85.7 per cent have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
"COVID-19 is spreading broadly across our province and it is spread among the unvaccinated," Russell said. "We can reverse this trend if everyone who can be vaccinated rolls up their sleeve immediately."
In total, 1,134,153 vaccine doses have been administered in New Brunswick.
All eligible New Brunswickers can book their second dose appointments now for a date that is at least 28 days after their first dose.
COVID-19 CASE DATA
New Brunswick has had 3,129 cumulative cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
In total, 2,787 people have recovered and 48 people have died in the province from COVID-19.
Public health says a total of 427,650 COVID-19 tests have been processed since the start of the pandemic.
The number of cases are broken down by New Brunswick’s seven health zones:
- Zone 1 – Moncton region: 856 confirmed cases (97 active cases)
- Zone 2 – Saint John region: 342 confirmed cases (7 active cases)
- Zone 3 – Fredericton region: 585 confirmed cases (59 active cases)
- Zone 4 – Edmundston region: 820 confirmed cases (30 active case)
- Zone 5 – Campbellton region: 275 confirmed cases (75 active cases)
- Zone 6 – Bathurst region: 167 confirmed cases (10 active cases)
- Zone 7 – Miramichi region: 84 confirmed cases (15 active cases)
POTENTIAL PUBLIC EXPOSURES
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.