New Brunswick

N.B. COVID-19 roundup: Shannex employee was in close contact with other Quispamsis case

Three new cases of COVID-19, in Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton regions, have been identified, the province announced Sunday.

Shannex says Nova Scotia employees at two facilities also tested positive

Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, asks people to be 'sensible' and 'kind.' (CBC)

Latest

  • Province case count climbs to 101
  • No new recoveries, investigation continues
  • Fredericton call centre confirms case among its employees
  • MLA creates COVID-19 taskforce 

An employee at the Jubilee Hall retirement home in Quispamsis has tested positive for COVID-19.

Lisa Snodgrass, an infection control specialist with Shannex, said the employee worked in both Jubilee and Concorde Halls in Quispamsis and was diagnosed Saturday.

"Due to the nature of this employee's work they are required to spend time in the other buildings," she said.

She said Public Health determined the employee was in close contact with another confirmed case in Quispamsis.

Because of privacy concerns Snodgrass said she can't share the employee's exact occupation, but said the employee does not generally have close contact with residents.

[The employee] would not have had symptoms while they were on the premises.- Lisa Snodgrass, Shannex

Employees at two Nova Scotia Shannex locations also tested positive: Arborstone Enhanced Care in Halifax and Harris Hall in Dartmouth.

The employee last worked on March 29, Shannex spokesperson Isabelle Landry told Radio-Canada.

The Quispamsis location, called Parkland in the Valley offers retirement living, assisted living and nursing home care.

Snodgrass said Jubillee Hall is not a licensed long term care home, but a private retirement living community. Concorde Hall on the other hand, where the employee spent "brief amounts of time" is a licensed assisted living facility. 

"Certain individuals would still receive some care services in that area and a lot of the residents that live there are fairly independent on their own," she said.

Snodgrass said residents have been told about the case, and are being asked to monitor themselves for symptoms. Residents who need help will have staff check their temperatures and ask them questions every day, she said.

She said Shannex does their own contact tracing, and have decided to ask all residents to self monitor, not a select number.

"With this employee we ended up asking all of our residents at this time just to follow Public Health recommendations to self monitor even though it would be a low-risk kind of situation," she said. 

Snodgrass said Shannex has been screening employees for the past few weeks. She said they ask employees questions about symptoms and check their temperatures before allowing them in.

She said this employee was not showing symptoms when they were working.

"They would not have had symptoms while they were on the premises," she said.

The facilities have been closed to visitors, and physical distancing was implemented at all locations, Snodgrass said. 

"While these are unsettling times for our residents and team members, our entire organization is focused on supporting our communities through this challenging time," a Shannex news release said.

"We are communicating this news to all employees and to all residents and families at each location and will continue to provide updates as more information is available."

Province case count climbs to 101

The province has three more cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 101, said a news release Sunday.

The cases were identified in Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton regions.

In the news release the province reminded residents to self-isolate at home, keep travel to a strict minimum, and avoid all non-essential errands. 

"Enforcement officers are now fining people for violating the mandatory order," the release said. "Failing to obey the order has serious consequences."

Projections could become obsolete almost as soon as they're made because of new information coming in, chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell said Friday. She said it’s hard to predict when COVID-19 cases will peak in New Brunswick. 3:40

The release says fines range from $292.50 to $10,200.

The release said playgrounds are closed, but municipal public parks and walking trails are open.

People going outside must keep two-metres away from each other and "not form a crowd," the release said.

New Brunswick has done 195 new tests since Saturday, with a total of 5217 negative tests.

No new recoveries, investigation continues

Of the 101 cases, 58 are travel-related, 32 are close contacts of confirmed cases and five cases are the result of community transmission. The province is still investigating the mode of transmission of six cases. 

The number of people who recovered for the infection remains at 28.

The new cases, which are under investigation, are:

  • A person aged 40-49 in Zone 1 (Moncton region)
  • A person aged 30-39 in Zone 2 (Saint John region)
  • A person aged 50-59 in Zone 3 (Fredericton region)

Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health, asked New Brunswickers to be "sensible" and "kind."

"I urge you to think about your mental health the same way. Take care of yourselves so you can take care of others."

In the release, Premier Blaine Higgs said there will be more cases.

"That is why we are doing everything we can to fight this," he said.

Higgs thanked politicians of all parties for being "united."

"We have all put politics aside to make the tough decisions. It has been a shining example in this country of how politicians from different stripes can work together," he said.

Fredericton call centre confirms case among its employees

An employee at the CIBC call centre at King's Place in Fredericton has tested positive for COVID-19, the company confirmed Sunday.

"Enhanced cleaning has been completed at the location in addition to our ongoing cleaning measures," said CIBC spokesperson Trish Tervit in an emailed statement.  

"We have notified local public health officials and are following their protocols."

King's Place property manager says tenants got emails alerting them of the case. (CBC News)

Property manager for King's Place Stephanie O'Regan said she was notified by Public Health of the positive case on Friday night.

She said an email was sent out to all tenants in the building this weekend notifying them of the positive case.

O'Regan said the entire floor the call centre is located on has been deep cleaned, and so have all of the building's common areas. 

Public Health spokesperson Bruce MacFarlane said Saturday the province can not comment about this case.

MLA creates COVID-19 task force 

MLA Megan Mitton has teamed up with a handful of local leaders to create a COVID-19 task force for her riding of Memramcook-Tantramar. 

The Tantramar COVID-19 task force will co-ordinate the community's response efforts during the pandemic, and will focusing on issues of food security, infrastructure, volunteers, and mental health services.

We asked for your videos and knew you would deliver. Here's how many New Brunswickers are coping with social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.   3:57

In a news release Mitton said the task force will "ensure communication and cooperation is maintained with other [New Brunswick] initiatives."

The task force will have representatives from municipalities, First Nations, non-profits, faith communities, local schools, Mount Allison University and nursing home workers. 

It will be co-chaired by Carolle de Ste-Croix, director of alumni engagement at Mount Allison, and David McKellan, the president of the Sackville Rotary Club.

About the Author

Hadeel Ibrahim is a CBC reporter based in Saint John. She can be reached at hadeel.ibrahim@cbc.ca

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