'We need your help': New Brunswick asks for volunteers to assist health-care system
The New Brunswick government has issued an urgent call for volunteers to help the province in its pandemic response efforts.
The province says the volunteer positions will be both paid and unpaid.
“As predicted, the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is causing increased hospitalizations and staff absences, which is putting pressure on all aspects of our health-care system,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard.
“We are asking anyone who can assist with clinical and non-clinical work to come forward.”
The clinical work includes:
- administering vaccinations
- COVID-19 testing
- patient services
- personal support work
The non-clinical work includes:
- clerical support
- office administration
- logistical support
- data entry
- customer service
- food preparation and delivery
The province says training will be provided, specific to the work to be done, and will include health and safety training. Personal protective equipment will also be provided.
“We need your help,” said Shephard. “Whether you are retired, non-practicing or unlicensed – if you have experience that can help, please reach out to us.”
Anyone who would like to volunteer is asked to complete an online form. Each volunteer will be contacted, however priority will be given to people who can fill areas of highest need.
Public health reported three deaths related to COVID-19 Tuesday, involving a person in their 50s and two people 90 and over in Zone 6, the Bathurst region.
As of Tuesday, public health says there are a total of 113 people in hospital, 15 of whom are in intensive care.
Of those currently hospitalized, 59 were admitted for reasons other than COVID-19.
Public health also reported that 347 health-care workers, who have tested positive for the virus, are currently isolating.
Of those in hospital:
- 67 per cent of the 15 patients in ICU are either unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or it has been more than six months since their second dose
- 85 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 are over 60
- four people are on a ventilator
- two people 19 or under are hospitalized
The seven-day rolling average of hospitalizations is available on the COVID-19 dashboard.
“The rate of people hospitalized and in ICU continues to most greatly impact people who are unvaccinated and those who are over six months from their second dose. Information about the rates of cases and hospitalizations based on vaccination status, the age and origin of new cases, and additional information, is available on the COVID-19 dashboard,” reads a release from public health.
Since Monday, Jan. 10, more than 37,600 appointments were booked for a COVID-19 booster dose.
The health authorities say there are more than 19,000 appointments available between now and Jan. 31. In addition, pharmacies have nearly 44,000 doses for their COVID-19 clinics.
Booster shots in New Brunswick are now available to everyone aged 18 and older, as long as five months have passed since their second dose.
Appointments can be booked online at vaccination clinics offered through the Vitalité and Horizon health networks. Those unable to book an appointment online, or who need assistance, may call 1-833-437-1424.
RAPID TEST AND PCR RESULTS
Health officials say the COVID-19 online dashboard has been updated to include both PCR and rapid-test results.
People with COVID-19 symptoms are required to register online for a PCR test or rapid test under the provincial government’s testing strategy. Those who receive a positive rapid-test result are reminded to submit their result online through the self-reporting web portal.
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