Additional restriction for Zone 5 / Zone 1 returns to Yellow level / three new cases of COVID-19
Zone 5 (Campbellton region) will remain in the Orange level of recovery, with an additional restriction to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the region.
As of midnight tonight, residents of Zone 5 will have to limit their contact to a single household bubble plus formal or informal caregivers and members of their immediate family (parents, children, siblings and grand-parents).
“We learned lessons since the beginning of the pandemic and have expanded the single household bubble to include caregivers, and immediate family to help with the daily functions of life and to prevent the mental-health toll of isolation,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “While we recognize that important distinction, I ask people not to take advantage of that to organize things like large family parties or dinners. Gatherings, both at work and socially, are where we are seeing the virus spread. Keep your contact circles as tight as possible within the rules, in the hopes that this measure will be temporary as we get the virus under control in the region.”
Currently COVID-19 is more prevalent in Zone 5 than anywhere else in Atlantic Canada. Over a 16-day span this month, 14,036 COVID-19 tests were processed in New Brunswick. Less than one per cent of these were positive. During this same period, 1,500 tests were administered in Zone 5 and 4.24 per cent of those tests were positive. The province currently has 14.39 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people. In Zone 5, the ratio is 245 cases per 100,000 people.
Peace officers with the Department of Justice and Public Safety are in the region to make sure everyone is following the rules. These officers will continue to focus on educating the public, but if people refuse to comply with the rules, they will face penalties.
“I remind New Brunswickers of the impact this outbreak is having on so many people in our province,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. “We cannot be cavalier about this situation. Doing so could quickly lead to our health-care system becoming overwhelmed. I know the measures in place in Zone 5 are restrictive and the additional rule of a single household bubble will have a major impact, but we cannot take the risk of allowing COVID-19 to continue to spread. I am hopeful that, by following the rules, Zone 5 will be able to get back on track quickly.”
Zone 1 transitions to Yellow level
Zone 1 (Moncton region) returns to the Yellow level as of midnight tonight.
Public Health made the recommendation based upon a consistent downward trend in the number of cases and a significant decline in the risk of further infections. Contact tracing has shown that all the infections in Zone 1 are related.
Recovery level rules are available online. In the Yellow level, Public Health measures and guidelines must still be followed. This includes wearing a mask in most indoor public places.
COVID-19 testing in Zone 5
Testing is available this weekend for individuals who do not have any symptoms of COVID-19 but want to be tested.
Testing will be held over two days:
- Saturday, Oct. 24, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., at the Memorial Regional Civic Centre in Campbellton; and
- Sunday, Oct. 25, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., at the Inch Arran Arena in Dalhousie.
No appointment is necessary. Screening tests will be done on a first-come, first-served basis.
People with symptoms are asked to request a test online or call Tele-Care 811 to get an appointment at the nearest screening centre.
Public Health reported three new cases of COVID-19 today, all in Zone 5 (Campbellton region) as follows:
- one individual 40 to 49; and
- two people 50 to 59.
All of these cases are self-isolating and under investigation.
The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 322 and 237 have recovered. There have been four deaths, and the number of active cases is 81. Five patients are hospitalized with one in an intensive care unit. As of today, 95,036 tests have been conducted.
Possible school exposure
On Tuesday, Oct. 20, the school community of Dalhousie Regional High School was notified of a second confirmed positive COVID-19 case at the school. This case has no connection with the previously identified case and no student-to-student transmission of COVID-19 has been recorded in any New Brunswick schools to date. Students of the school in Grades 6 to 12 are learning remotely until Friday, Oct. 23, with the possibility of extending beyond that date. Families will continue to receive updates from the school as decisions are made.