16 new cases / exposure notifications / update on high schools
FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government announced new self-isolation requirements for leisure and non-essential travellers returning to New Brunswick, as well as people moving to the province and business travellers, effective Saturday, April 24 at 11:59 p.m. under the mandatory order.
Anyone returning to the province from leisure travel, as well as individuals moving to New Brunswick and business travellers who are not rotational workers, truck drivers or regular cross-border commuters, will be required to self-isolate for at least seven days in a designated isolation hotel at their own expense.
They will be required to take a COVID-19 test on day five of their self-isolation, and once they get a negative result, they may complete their 14-day self-isolation at home, as long as no other people are in the household. Test results will likely be available on day seven of isolation. They will be required to take a second test on day 10 of their isolation.
Upon their arrival in New Brunswick, leisure travellers must drive themselves or use a taxi. No family pick-ups or carpools are permitted. These rules apply to all leisure travellers, regardless of their vaccination status.
Isolation hotels will be located in communities across the province. They will be coordinated by the Canadian Red Cross to provide housing, food, medical needs and security. The cost to travellers will be approximately $200 per day.
Guidelines for other travellers
All travellers entering New Brunswick, including truck drivers who regularly cross borders, must register their travel online or by calling 1-833-948-2800.
“Until the majority of us have been vaccinated, unnecessary travel is simply too risky,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “If you do not have to travel, you should stay home. If you decide to take this risk against public health guidance and advice, we need to be sure that you are not putting the health of other New Brunswickers in jeopardy.”
Beginning Saturday, April 24 at 11:59 p.m., rotational workers will be required to self-isolate for 14 days, separate from others, upon returning to New Brunswick, regardless of their vaccination status. If they choose to isolate at home with other people, everyone in the household must also isolate for 14 days.
Also effective on Saturday, April 24 at 11:59 p.m., truck drivers who regularly cross borders and all other regular cross-border commuters will be required to follow modified self-isolation guidelines for 14 days upon arrival in New Brunswick.
These individuals must stay at home at all times, except for medical needs or to pick up necessities of life, as long as they can do so while avoiding contact with others by using curbside pickup or delivery. Other members of the household will not be required to self-isolate. These rules apply to all New Brunswick truck drivers and regular cross-border commuters regardless of their vaccination status.
As part of the modified self-isolation guidelines, truck drivers and regular cross-border commuters should stay away from other members of their household as much as possible. Other household members should minimize contact with others and follow all Public Health guidelines that apply to their health zone’s alert level.
“We are seeing what is happening in Ontario right now, where health-care professionals are being forced to make heartbreaking choices about who receives care and who doesn’t,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. “We can’t let that happen here.”
Higgs said cabinet and the all-party cabinet committee on COVID-19 will re-evaluate the restrictions in the weeks ahead and will make further changes based on the recommendations of Public Health as required.
He also announced that the minimum fine for violating the mandatory order is increasing from $292.50 to $580.50.
“There are some people who are not taking this situation seriously and it is imperative that they do so,” Higgs said.
New guidelines for returning post-secondary students
Starting today, post-secondary students returning to New Brunswick from COVID-19 hot zones in Atlantic Canada, as well as anyone assisting them, must immediately self-isolate for 14 days. At this time, the Halifax Regional Municipality qualifies as a hot zone, as it is in lockdown.
Beginning Sunday, April 25 at 11:59 p.m., returning post-secondary students and anyone assisting them will need to stay in an isolation hotel. The cost of the isolation hotel and related expenses will be covered by the provincial government.
16 new cases
Public Health reported 16 new cases of COVID-19 today.
The four cases in Zone 1 (Moncton region) are as follows:
- an individual 20-29;
- an individual 30-39;
- an individual 40-49; and
- an individual 50-59.
Three of these cases are travel related and one is under investigation.
The two cases in Zone 2 (Saint John region) are as follows:
- two people 50-59.
Both cases are travel related.
The two cases in Zone 4 (Edmundston region) are as follows:
- an individual 19 and under; and
- an individual 40-49.
Both cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases.
The eight cases in Zone 6 (Bathurst region) are as follows:
- four people 40-49;
- two people 50-59; and
- two people 60-69.
All eight cases are travel related.
Eleven of today’s travel-related cases are New Brunswick workers who are currently isolating outside of the province.
The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 1,839. Since yesterday, 14 people have recovered for a total of 1,656 recoveries. There have been 34 deaths, and the number of active cases is 148. Thirteen patients are hospitalized, including five in an intensive care unit. Yesterday, 1,333 tests were conducted for a total of 281,343.
Public Health follows a standard process when addressing instances where the public may have been exposed to a case of COVID-19. In cases where record-keeping is able to identify anyone who may have been exposed, officials contact these individuals directly and do not issue a separate announcement. In cases where officials cannot be certain of exactly who may have been exposed to the virus in a given location, Public Health issues an announcement to alert those who could have been affected and provides instructions.
Public Health has identified a positive case in a traveller who may have been infectious on April 20 while on the following flights:
- Air Canada Flight 318 – from Calgary to Montreal, departed at 11:45 a.m.
- Air Canada Flight 8906 – from Montreal to Moncton, departed at 7:01 p.m.
Public Health has also identified a positive case in traveller who may have been infectious on April 15 while on the following flight:
- Air Canada Flight 8919 – from Toronto to Moncton, departed at 8:56 p.m.
Update on high schools
Based on the recommendation of Public Health, cabinet and the all-party cabinet committee on COVID-19 have decided high school students will not return to full-time in-person learning this school year. It is expected that full-time in-person classes will resume for all students when the new school year begins in September.
Vaccinations for homebound individuals
Extra-Mural/Ambulance New Brunswick will provide vaccinations to homebound individuals 55 and older who are unable to leave their home to go to a pharmacy or regional health authority vaccination clinic. Existing clients of the Extra-Mural Program will be assessed to determine if they qualify for this service. Homebound individuals who are not Extra-Mural clients may also be referred for a home vaccination by their primary care provider beginning May 3.
Reminder of lockdown, Orange and Yellow levels
A section of Zone 4, including Edmundston and the upper Madawaska region, is in lockdown as per the province’s mandatory order. A detailed list of lockdown restrictions, including what can remain open and what must close, is available online.
The communities of Saint-Léonard, Grand Falls, Drummond, New Denmark and Four Falls remain in the Orange level.
All other zones and communities in the province, including the Saint-Quentin and Kedgwick regions in Zone 4, remain in the Yellow level.
No travel is permitted in and out of the lockdown area or within the lockdown area except when necessary, such as for vaccinations, medical appointments, work or to purchase essential goods. No travel is recommended in or out of areas in the Orange level. This recommendation includes no travel to sporting or entertainment events in other zones. Travel between Yellow level areas is permitted.
23 April 2021