'We have to maintain our vigilance': New Brunswick reports 2 new COVID-19 cases
HALIFAX -- New Brunswick reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday afternoon.
Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health, made the announcement during a news conference in Fredericton and applauded New Brunswickers for helping to keep the numbers low.
"I want to thank New Brunswickers for helping to keep the numbers as low as they are," Russell said. "We have to continue doing this. We have to maintain our vigilance in limiting the spread of this disease."
It's the second day in a row that the province has announced just two new cases, and while that is a positive sign, it does not indicate that people can relax.
“Just because we have had a couple days of low new-case numbers, now is not the time to be complacent,” said Russell. “We will have good days and bad days, but we cannot lose focus.”
Russell reminded New Brunswickers that their actions -- and following public health advice on physical distancing, self-isolation, and proper hygiene -- are key to fighting the spread of the disease.
“Everyone needs to act as if people around them have COVID-19,” said Russell. “Flattening the curve and protecting those who are most in need of protection requires continued and constant vigilance by every New Brunswicker.’’
She says "we still have a long way to go" before the pandemic is over and we can't lose focus.
"Staying home will save lives," Russell said, offering a sober reminder of what has yet to come in New Brunswick, but might happen.
Premier Blaine Higgs said New Brunswick has an advantage over some other provinces and countries because it is a largely rural province and population that is spread out.
"Stay at home and stay close to home as much as possible," Higgs said. "By working together, we will indeed flatten the curve."
Higgs said 115 seniors have been moved out of hospitals into long-term care homes to free up beds in hospitals across the province. Hospitals are now operating at 60 per cent capacity.
"We are in a good position to treat patients who require critical care," Higgs said.
Higgs provided an update on the workers emergency income benefit, which has been set up to provide workers with a one-time benefit of $900 to tide them over until federal assistance is in place.
The province started accepting applications at noon on Monday and Higgs said as of Tuesday afternoon, 38,000 people had applied.
"We will begin making payments to eligible recipients later this week," Higgs said.
One of the new positive tests is a person aged 60 to 69 in Zone 3 and the other is a person aged 20 to 29 in Zone 4.
The two new cases brings New Brunswick's total to 70 overall.
Russell said six cases remain under investigation and also reported that nine people who had COVID-19 are now recovered.