Call issued for volunteers to assist health-care system
FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has issued an urgent call for volunteers for paid and unpaid assistance in its pandemic response efforts.
“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 and COVID-19 testing, patient services and personal support work. Non-clinical work includes clerical support, office administration, logistical support, data entry, customer service, and food preparation and delivery.
“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.”
Training specific to the work to be done, including health and safety training, and required personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided.
Those interested in volunteering are asked to complete an online form. Each volunteer will be contacted but priority will be given to people who can fill areas of highest need.
New Brunswickers eligible for booster doses of a COVID-19 vaccine are encouraged to book appointments. Booster doses are available to everyone 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.
Many pharmacies across the province are also offering vaccine clinics. Appointments can be made by contacting a participating pharmacy directly.
Those unable to book an appointment online, or who otherwise need assistance booking through a health authority clinic or pharmacy, may call 1-833-437-1424.
Since Jan. 10, more than 37,600 appointments have been booked with the regional health authorities for booster doses of an mRNA vaccine. The health authorities have more than 25,700 appointments available between now and Jan. 31. In addition, pharmacies have received nearly 44,000 doses for their COVID-19 clinics.
Public Health reported there are 15 people in intensive care and another 98 in hospital with COVID-19, for a total of 113 people hospitalized.
Of those currently hospitalized, 59 were admitted for reasons other than COVID-19.
There are currently 347 health-care workers who have tested positive for the virus and are isolating.
Sixty-seven 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. Eighty-five hospitalized patients with COVID-19 are over 60 and 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.
Three people who had COVID-19 have died: a person 50-59 and two people 90 and over in Zone 6 (Bathurst region).
The entire province is currently in the Level 3 phase of the winter plan to manage COVID-19. More information on the COVID-19 alert system, including guidance on public health measures, restrictions and the mandatory order, is available online.
Other useful links:
- Information about COVID-19 vaccines (including booking first, second or booster doses)
- Information about COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations NB COVID-19 N.-B. (arcgis.com)
- Information on getting tested (PCR or rapid tests)
- Information on rapid test and PCR results
- Healthy and Safe Schools website (including information on cases in schools and daycares)
- Information and guidelines on isolation
- Information and resources to help New Brunswickers live with COVID-19