Public urged to limit contacts to help slow spread of Omicron
FREDERICTON (GNB) – With the increase in the number of cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 expected to peak in the coming weeks, Public Health reminds New Brunswickers to limit their contacts and follow public health guidance.
“We must all limit our contacts by seeing fewer people and distancing appropriately,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “We all need to be prepared for COVID-19 and have a plan to ensure we have enough supplies to care for ourselves and our families.”
The provincial government is forecasting 220 active hospitalizations by early February. The number of people isolating with the virus could impact the health-care system and other critical services and businesses. There are currently 369 health-care workers who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are isolating.
New Brunswickers are encouraged to prepare in advance by having a basic plan for isolation, keeping supplies like medication and food on hand, and monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19.
Public Health reported there are 10 people in intensive care and another 84 in hospital for a total of 94 people hospitalized with COVID-19.
“We are seeing increased numbers of COVID-positive patients being admitted to hospital,” said Russell. “Of the 94 currently hospitalized, 34 were admitted for reasons other than COVID-19, meaning they came to the hospital to be treated for something unrelated to COVID and tested positive once they were admitted.”
Of the total people hospitalized, 73 per cent are either unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or it has been more than six months since their second dose. Of those in hospital, 74 are over 60 and four people are on a ventilator. One person 19 or under is 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. 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.
One person aged 80 or over in Zone 2 (Saint John region) has died as a result of COVID-19.
Booster dose appointments
Public Health reported that, since Monday, Jan. 10, more than 23,100 appointments have been booked for booster doses of an mRNA vaccine. The booster dose is now available to everyone 18 and older, as long as five months have passed since their second dose.
Monday was the first opportunity for these newly eligible people to book an appointment online at vaccination clinics offered through Vitalité and Horizon health networks.
Rapid test results
There were 688 new positive rapid (point-of-care) test results submitted. These totals are based on information received by the Department of Health from the public and are not intended to be taken as a true representation of the total number of cases in the province.
People with COVID-19 symptoms are required to register online for a PCR test or rapid test under the provincial government’s testing strategy. Those who receive a positive rapid-test result are reminded to submit their result online through the self-reporting web portal.
The COVID-19 dashboard has been updated to include rapid-test results. Further enhancements will be made to the dashboard during the coming weeks.
All of New Brunswick is in the Level 2 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)
- 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
- Travel information (including the Travel Registration Program)