Community News

57 new cases; Healthy and Safe Schools guidelines updated

FREDERICTON (GNB) – Public Health is reporting an increase in vaccination appointment bookings at pharmacies and regional health authority clinics across the province.

“Demand for vaccinations has picked up over the last few days and I am greatly encouraged by this,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “Yesterday we scheduled 1,929 vaccination appointments at regional health authority clinics, in addition to 1,700 bookings the day before. Prior to Wednesday’s announcement, the recent average was 600 bookings per day. We are also seeing a major uptick at pharmacies and walk-in clinics. On Thursday, 600 additional vaccines had to be delivered to a clinic in the Moncton area.”

It was announced earlier this week that, effective Tuesday, Sept. 21, at 11:59 p.m., people will be required to show proof of full vaccination when accessing certain events, services and businesses, and anyone entering New Brunswick must pre-register their travel. Information on the updated regulations is available online.

Public Health reported today that 77.5 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 86.1 per cent have received their first dose of a vaccine.

If you have not yet had your first or second dose, you are asked to go to a walk-in clinic or book an appointment through a participating pharmacy or at a Vitalité or Horizon health network clinic as soon as possible.

All eligible New Brunswickers can book their second-dose appointments for a date that is at least 28 days after their first dose.

Those attending a vaccination clinic are asked to bring their Medicare card, a signed consent form and, for those receiving their second dose, a copy of the record of immunization provided after receiving their first dose.

A list of upcoming mobile and walk-in clinics is available online.

Healthy and Safe Schools guidelines updated

Since the beginning of this school year, 20 schools across health zones 1, 3, 4 and 5 have been affected by about 80 confirmed cases of COVID-19. By comparison, the 2020-21 school year had about 100 cases across 50 schools, in every health zone. As a result, the Healthy and Safe Schools guidelines for 2021-22 are being updated to better protect students in kindergarten to Grade 12.

On Monday, Sept. 20, the following measures come into effect:

  • Using classroom groupings (or bubbles) to the greatest extent possible. Class sizes will not be changed.
  • Only classroom bubble-friendly field trips will be permitted for students in kindergarten to Grade 8.
  • Schools will look for ways to encourage greater physical distancing between groupings, such as adjusting lunch or recess schedules.
  • Physical education classes will be taught outdoors, weather permitting. If taught indoors, students and staff must wear masks.
  • Assemblies will no longer be permitted.

In addition, effective Wednesday, Sept. 22, all students who are eligible to be vaccinated (those born in 2009 and earlier who do not have a medical exemption) must be vaccinated to participate in indoor or outdoor extracurricular and intramural activities.

To reduce the risk of transmission on buses, and allow for greater physical distancing, families are asked to drive their children to school if they are able. Community use of schools remains restricted to youth activities. Students 12 and over must be vaccinated or have a medical exemption to participate.

These measures will be reviewed regularly in the coming days and weeks.

“The growing number of cases of COVID-19 in communities is having a significant impact on public school operations,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy. “We have a duty to protect our students, especially those under 12 who are not yet eligible to receive protection through COVID-19 vaccines. As the situation in communities evolves, we have worked closely with Public Health to make updates to our guidelines and ensure our schools are healthy, safe and can stay open through the coming weeks. But we will need the help of families, communities and businesses to help protect our school communities.”

Confirmed cases in schools

Positive cases have been confirmed in schools in zones 1 (Moncton region), 3 (Fredericton region) and 5 (Campbellton region).

The respective school communities have been notified. If you or a family member have been in close contact with a case, you will be notified by Public Health for contact tracing. This notification may be communicated by the school. If you do not hear directly from Public Health, you have not been identified as a close contact.

As per New Brunswick’s Healthy and Safe Schools guidelines, schools with cases will close or move to online learning for at least one calendar day to support contact tracing, risk assessments and operational responses. Districts have contacted families directly with specific information regarding any impact on learning, including information on home learning, if required.

Zone 1 (Moncton region) – A new case of COVID-19 was confirmed at West Riverview Elementary School.

Zone 3 (Fredericton region) – New cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at Andover Elementary School, Perth-Andover Middle School, and Southern Victoria High School, all located in Perth-Andover.

Zone 5 (Campbellton region) – A new case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Sugarloaf Senior High School in Campbellton.

41 of 57 new cases not fully vaccinated

Public Health is reporting 57 new cases of COVID-19 and 23 recoveries today. Forty-one – or 72 per cent – of these new cases are not fully vaccinated.

There are 17 people hospitalized due to the virus, with 10 in an intensive care unit. The number of active cases is 370.

“Today, we are seeing 28 per cent of the new cases in fully vaccinated people,” said Russell. “These breakthrough cases are expected while the virus continues to circulate although those vaccinated are far less likely to be seriously ill or hospitalized. However, the circumstances with this virus have changed and that is why we must change with it. Public Health is strongly recommending that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask in indoor public spaces. And if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, no matter how mild, do not assume they are fall allergies; get tested.”

The 15 new cases in Zone 1 (Moncton region) are as follows:

  • a person 19 and under;
  • two people 20-29;
  • two people 30-39;
  • two people 40-49;
  • two people 50-59;
  • a person 60-69;
  • a person 70-79; and
  • four people 90 and over.

Eight cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases and seven are under investigation.

The three new cases in Zone 2 (Saint John region) are as follows:

  • two people 30-39; and
  • a person 40-49.

Two cases are under investigation and one is a contact of a previously confirmed case.

The 16 new cases in Zone 3 (Fredericton region) are as follows:

  • eight people 19 and under;
  • two people 20-29;
  • two people 30-39;
  • two people 50-59;
  • a person 60-69; and
  • a person 70-79.

Seven cases are under investigation and nine are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

The nine new cases in Zone 4 (Edmundston region) are as follows:

  • three people 19 and under;
  • two people 30-39;
  • a person 40-49;
  • two people 50-59; and
  • a person 60-69.

Four cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases and five are under investigation.

The 14 new cases in Zone 5 (Campbellton region) are as follows:

  • seven people 19 and under;
  • four people 20-29;
  • two people 30-39; and
  • a person 50-59.

Ten cases are under investigation and four are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

Additional information is available on the COVID-19 dashboard.

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 811 to get an appointment.

17-09-21

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