Community News

Active cases and hospitalizations trending downwards / circuit breakers extended and added to Zone 2 to ensure trend is maintained

FREDERICTON (GNB) – Public Health measures established over the past several weeks have helped reduce the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19.

Today, there are 16 people in an intensive care unit; 12 are unvaccinated, two are partially vaccinated, and two are fully vaccinated.

There are 31 people in hospital, including the 16 in intensive care. Of the 31 in hospital, 18 are unvaccinated, two are partially vaccinated and 11 are fully vaccinated. There is currently no one 19 or under in the hospital.

Public Health has confirmed that two people have died as a result of COVID-19. One person 80-89 in Zone 1 (Moncton region) and one person 80-89 in Zone 3 (Fredericton region) have died. Public Health reported 69 new cases of COVID-19 today and 51 recoveries. There are 549 active cases.

Of the new cases, 43 – or 62 per cent – are unvaccinated, two – or three per cent – are partially vaccinated, and 24 – or 35 per cent – are fully vaccinated.

“Sadly, we know that there are some deaths that come from those who are hospitalized due to COVID-19, which is why it is so important to get control of hospitalizations,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. “From several weeks ago, when circuit breakers were first introduced, the number of active cases has dropped by 50 per cent and the number of hospitalizations has declined by nearly one-third. However, there remains a strain on the hospital system due to the resources required to care for a COVID patient.”

To ensure the downward trend in hospitalizations continues, the circuit breaker will continue for another seven days in Zone 1 (Moncton region) as far north as and including Sainte-Anne-de-Kent; the northern portion of Zone 3 from and including Deerville and Florenceville-Bristol, but excluding Hayesville and Parker Ridge; all of Zone 4 (Edmundston region); and all of Zone 5 (Campbellton region).

In addition, due to a high number of COVID-19 transmissions, a large section of Zone 2 (Saint John region) will enter a 14-day circuit breaker at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 29. The impacted areas include New River Beach and Lepreau, north to the communities of Clarendon and Welsford, east to the community of Head of Millstream, and all communities in Saint John and Kings counties.

“I am saddened to see two more deaths reported today from people who had COVID-19,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “While the circuit breakers in place for several weeks have had a positive effect and we have seen an overall decrease in hospitalizations, we are not yet in a position to remove these measures. We have also added a circuit breaker to most of Zone 2 because this area currently has the highest positivity rate in the province. I want to thank everyone who is taking the steps necessary to protect yourself, your loved ones and your communities.”

More information about the circuit breaker rules, including a detailed list and map of affected communities, is available online.

Booster dose of mRNA vaccines available for additional groups

Beginning the week of Nov. 1, people 65 and older, and school personnel will be able to book an appointment to receive an mRNA COVID-19 booster dose if six months have passed since their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Additionally, those who have received one or two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be able to book an appointment to receive an mRNA COVID-19 booster dose if 28 days have passed since their second dose.

Details on booster doses for other groups will be available in the coming weeks.

Changes to mandatory order regarding rapid-test results

Beginning Friday, unvaccinated students who are required to take rapid tests at home because they have been identified as close contacts will no longer need to present their negative result to their school each day.

As a result of this change, the mandatory order has been updated to include a provision that falsifying or deliberately misrepresenting the results of a rapid test will be a fineable offence.

A child can return to school after two negative rapid-test results.

If the result is positive, it is the parents’ responsibility to ensure that a PCR test is booked immediately through Public Health to confirm the result. The child must isolate until a negative PCR test result is received.

“Every parent wants their child to be safe and healthy and protected from unnecessary illness,” said Higgs. “That is why it is so important that when children bring rapid-test kits home from school, their parents ensure that the test is taken properly. This ensures a child who has COVID-19 gets proper care and that they do not expose other children and school staff to the virus.”

Rapid-screening kit pickup program

Mobile pickup sites are now open to provide New Brunswickers with easier access to rapid-screening kits.

Twenty mobile sites have been added across the province by Horizon Health Network. Each mobile site will be open one day a week from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

A full list of Vitalité Health Network’s 16 sites is available online.

On Wednesday, 6,482 kits were distributed.

All locations will be open during their scheduled hours or until the daily supply has been given out. New supplies of test kits will continue to be delivered to the pickup locations throughout the week.

More information about kits is available online.

Vaccination update

Public Health reported today that 84.5 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 92.4 per cent have received their first dose of a vaccine.

Health-care personnel – including those working in long-term care facilities – and residents of First Nations communities can now book an appointment to receive an mRNA COVID-19 booster dose if six months have passed since their second dose of a vaccine. They must bring their proof of vaccination, i.e. immunization record, to their appointment.

Appointments for first and second doses, as well as a booster dose for those eligible, can be scheduled for a regional health authority community COVID-19 vaccination clinic through the online booking system or at a participating pharmacy. Residents of First Nations communities can also book an appointment at a community clinic.

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

Regional breakdown of new cases

The 23 new cases in Zone 1 (Moncton region) are as follows:

  • seven people 19 and under;
  • two people 20-29;
  • three people 30-39;
  • three people 50-59;
  • three people 60-69;
  • a person 70-79; and
  • four people 80-89.

Eighteen cases are under investigation and five cases are related to travel.

The 26 new cases in Zone 2 (Saint John region) are as follows:

  • 10 people 19 and under;
  • six people 20-29;
  • three people 30-39;
  • four people 40-49;
  • a person 50-59; and
  • two people 60-69.

Twenty-four cases are under investigation, one case is a contact of a previously confirmed case and one case is related to travel.

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

  • two people 19 and under;
  • a person 20-29;
  • two people 40-49;
  • a person 60-69; and
  • a person 70-79.

Six cases are under investigation and one case is related to travel.

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

  • a person 19 and under;
  • two people 40-49;
  • a person 60-69; and
  • a person 70-79.

All five cases are under investigation.

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

  • three people 19 and under;
  • a person 40-49; and
  • a person 80-89.

Two cases are under investigation, one is a contact of a previously confirmed case and two cases are related to travel.

The two new cases in Zone 6 (Bathurst region) are as follows:

  • a person 20-29; and
  • a person 60-69.

One case is under investigation and the other is related to travel.

The one new case in Zone 7(Miramichi region) is a person 40-49. The case is under investigation.

Additional information is available on the COVID-19 dashboard.

Confirmed cases in schools and child-care facilities

Information on cases in schools is now available on the Healthy and Safe Schools website and the COVID-19 dashboard.

No new cases have been confirmed in child-care facilities today. Since Sept. 7, 59 early learning and child-care facilities have had confirmed cases of COVID-19.

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 to get an appointment.

A map of potential public exposures can also be found on the COVID-19 dashboard.

28-10-21

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