Hospitalizations continuing to trend down / Those eligible for booster shots encouraged to book appointments
FREDERICTON (GNB) – The number of people hospitalized due to COVID-19 continues to trend downward as the government ramps up availability of booster doses in the fight to keep more people out of hospital.
As of this week, anyone 50 or over is eligible for a COVID-19 booster dose of an mRNA vaccine if six months have passed since their second dose.
“Getting your booster shot is an important step people can take to protect themselves, their loved ones and the most vulnerable from this virus,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard. “A booster shot provides you with an extra layer of protection and greatly reduces your risk of hospitalization. In the coming weeks, eligibility for booster doses will be expanded to those in their 40s, followed by all other New Brunswickers. With the holidays approaching, we need to be mindful of the measures each of us can take to ensure we are able to safely spend time with our family and friends.”
A detailed list of those eligible for a booster dose is available online.
Public Health reported today that 82 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 87.6 per cent have received their first dose.
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.
A list of upcoming walk-in clinics is available online.
77 recoveries, 69 new cases
Public Health reported today that 77 people have recovered from COVID-19 and there are 69 new cases of the virus, with the active number of cases at 752.
There are 18 people in intensive care and another 29 are in hospital for a total of 47 people hospitalized. Of those in hospital, 26 are over the age of 60. Eleven people are on a ventilator. There is one person under 19 hospitalized.
Hospitalizations continue to trend downwards from a week ago, while the number of cases in intensive care units remains stable. The seven-day rolling average of hospitalizations is now available on the COVID-19 dashboard.
Ten of the 47 people hospitalized were initially admitted for other reasons and contracted COVID-19 due to outbreaks at hospitals in Moncton, Saint John and Miramichi. Most of these people are exhibiting mild to moderate symptoms.
More information about the outbreaks is available on the Horizon Health Network website.
The rate of people hospitalized and in ICU, as well as new cases, continues to most greatly impact people who are unvaccinated. Information about the rates of cases and hospitalizations based on vaccination status is available on the COVID-19 dashboard.
Update on schools and child-care facilities
There are more than 125 active cases across 53 schools and 24 early learning and child care facilities throughout the province. Students and staff are reminded to continue following the Healthy and Safe Schools guidelines and all Public Health safety measures, which include washing hands, using sanitizer, wearing a mask, physical distancing, and staying home and getting tested when symptoms appear.
Today, 16 schools across the province have operational days, which means either the entire school or specific groups are learning from home based on advice from Public Health. More information on the impacted schools is available on the Healthy and Safe Schools website and on the COVID-19 dashboard.
The majority of cases are impacting kindergarten-to-Grade 5 schools, with transmission often occurring outside of the school setting or in instances when Public Health measures are not followed. However, as ventilation and air exchange also contribute to a healthy school environment, a working group on ventilation systems in schools was established during the early stages of the pandemic. It included representatives from WorkSafeNB, Public Health, the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. To support this work, Education and Early Childhood Development is working with its partners across government to contract private consultants to review ventilation in schools. More information will be available in the new year.
“We have seen increasing cases in schools over the past week and we continue to work with school districts and Public Health to manage outbreaks,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy. “It is important that when students or staff have any symptoms that they stay home and get tested. We are depending on families to make healthy choices and follow Public Health measures to protect our schools.”
Limited doses of Janssen vaccine available
A limited amount of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is available to eligible New Brunswickers over 18 but only through a special appointment. To schedule an appointment for this vaccine, contact Tele-Services at 1-833-437-1424 or email . Only one dose of the Janssen vaccine is required to be considered fully immunized.
Level 1 reminder
All of New Brunswick is currently in the Level 1 phase of the winter plan to manage COVID-19. More information on the plan is available online.
Regional breakdown of new cases
The 12 new cases in Zone 1 (Moncton region) are as follows:
· four people nine and under;
· three people 20-29;
· a person 50-59;
· two people 60-69;
· a person 70-79; and
· a person 80-89.
Eleven cases are under investigation and one case is a contact of a previously confirmed case.
The 15 new cases in Zone 2 (Saint John region) are as follows:
· a person nine and under;
· three people 10-19;
· three people 20-29;
· a person 30-39;
· two people 50-59;
· three people 60-69; and
· two people 70-79.
Ten cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases and five cases are under investigation.
The 27 new cases in Zone 3 (Fredericton region) are as follows:
· seven people nine and under;
· seven people 10-19;
· four people 20-29;
· three people 30-39;
· two people 40-49;
· three people 50-59; and
· a person 60-69.
Eighteen cases are under investigation and nine cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases.
The five new cases in Zone 4 (Edmundston region) are as follows:
· a person nine and under;
· a person 20-29;
· a person 40-49; and
· two people 60-69.
Three cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases and two cases are under investigation.
The two new cases in Zone 5 (Campbellton region) are as follows:
· a person 30-39; and
· a person 60-69.
Both cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases.
The eight new cases in Zone 7 (Miramichi region) are as follows:
· two people 10-19;
· a person 40-49;
· a person 50-59; and
· four people 70-79.
Five cases are under investigation and three cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases.
Additional information is available on the COVID-19 dashboard.
Any household in New Brunswick with a positive case of COVID-19 must isolate for 14 days, regardless of vaccination status.
Household members who are fully vaccinated will be able to leave isolation with a day-five negative PCR test. A day-10 PCR test must still be taken to confirm the negative result.
Those who violate the Public Health order to self-isolate face a fine of between $480 and $20,400.
Potential public exposures
Anyone with two or more symptoms of the virus is urged to request a test online to get an appointment.
If you have been at the site of a possible public exposure, but remain asymptomatic, you may be able to pick up a rapid-screening kit (while supplies last).
A map of potential public exposures is available on the COVID-19 dashboard.