New Brunswick

N.B. COVID-19 roundup: New travel-related case in Moncton area

New Brunswick Public Health is reporting one new case of COVID-19 in the Moncton region, bringing the total number of active cases to 25. 

The individual is in their 20s and has been self-isolating for 14 days

Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health, said residents living in the Campbellton area shouldn't travel to other parts of the province unless it's essential. (Government of New Brunswick)

Latest

  • 147 cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick
  • Campbellton residents should only travel for essentials
  • Cluster of cases could happen anywhere, Atholville mayor says 
  • New Brunswick courts resume full dockets 
  • Farmers call on Ottawa to help with rotting potatoes 
  • What to do if you have symptoms

New Brunswick Public Health is reporting one new case of COVID-19 in the Moncton region, bringing the total number of active cases in the province to 25. 

The new case is travel-related and involves an individual in their 20s.

The individual had been self-isolating for 14 days, according to Bruce Macfarlane, a spokesperson for the Department of Health.

"Public Health officials are in the process of conducting the contact tracing as per its usual process," he said in an emailed statement to CBC News.

Macfarlane said the investigation is ongoing but wouldn't reveal where the individual had been travelling.

147 cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick

There have been 147 cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick. Since the virus first broke out in March, 121 people have recovered, including one related to the outbreak in the Campbellton region, where there has been a cluster of COVID-19 cases.

There has been one death related to the respiratory virus this past month. 

Five patients are hospitalized with one in an intensive care unit.

As of today, 34,814 tests have been conducted, according to public health.

"After three months, it can be easy to forget to keep doing the simple things like distancing, washing your hands frequently, and covering coughs or sneezes, but these are the most important tools we have in preventing the spread of COVID-19," said Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health.

Campbellton residents should only travel for essentials

People in the Campbellton region should only travel to other parts of the province for essential services, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health says. 

The Campbellton region, also known as Zone 5, has seen a cluster of COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks, after a doctor travelled to Quebec for personal reasons and did not self-isolate after returning home to the area. 

"It is not ideal for people travelling for non-essential reasons," said Dr. Jennifer Russell during an interview with Information Morning Fredericton.

Russell said government isn't restricting people's movement within the province.

Instead, they're relying on an honour system. New Brunswick borders are being patrolled and many travellers receive a follow-up visit or phone call. 

"We can't police everything," she said. 

List of restrictions that'll be lifted starting Friday in New Brunswick, excluding zone 5

CBC News New Brunswick

1 year ago
4:18
Premier Blaine Higgs lists all the restrictions that will be lifted in New Brunswick starting Friday, with exception to Campbellton health region. 4:18

Over the weekend, Dooly's in Fredericton announced it was closing after a customer came into the pub who wasn't self-isolating after visiting Quebec.

"We're really relying on the good will and the good judgment of the people of New Brunswick.

On Tuesday, the downtown pub announced in a Facebook post they were reopening.

"We just got the all clear and are open for business! Thank you to everyone for your kind words and patience."

Bruce Macfarlane, a spokesperson for the Department of Health, said Public Health and the Department of Public Safety "investigated and took action to ensure that self-isolation rules are followed."

Anyone who has been outside New Brunswick must self-isolate for 14 days after their entry into the province. If a person experiences symptoms of COVID-19 during that time, Macfarlane said they should stay in self-isolation, "until they meet the clearance criteria set by the chief medical officer of health."

CBC News has asked for an interview with Dooly's. 

Cluster of cases could happen anywhere, Atholville mayor says 

Altholville Mayor Michel Soucy says residents in Restigouche County are frustrated but also understand why they've been one step behind in the province's COVID-19 recovery plan.

The Campbellton region, Zone 5, remains in the orange phase of the COVID-19 recovery plan, but the rest of the province moved into the second stage of the yellow phase. (Government of New Brunswick)

Last week, most of New Brunswick moved into step two of the yellow phase, while Restigouche County remained in the orange phase because of the high volume of cases in the area.

"When you're in this type of situation, it gets to you," Soucy said.

Seventeen of the region's active 24 cases are in the Manoir de la Vallée, a longterm-care facility in Atholville. 

Seventeen people connected to the Manoir de la Vallée in Atholville have tested positive for COVID-19. (Serge Bouchard/Radio-Canada)

And last week, Daniel Ouellette, 84, who lived in the longterm-care facility, died from the virus.

Soucy is asking people living in the area to stay calm and reminding them that a cluster of COVID-19 cases could happen anywhere. 

"People from Restigouche are not bad people. We're just in a situation where unfortunately, we are the region being affected," said Soucy.

"This could occur … in other regions."

New Brunswick courts resume full dockets 

Courts across the province have resumed full dockets but alternative options for attending court are still in place. This includes telephone or video conferencing for certain types of hearings.

Measures are also in place, including physical distancing requirements, to ensure the safety of people entering New Brunswick courthouses.

"Court hearings can contain many variables and complications," said Justice Minister and Attorney General Andrea Anderson-Mason.

New Brunswick courts resume full dockets but telephone and video conferencing can still take place. (CBC)

"We will continue to work with the judiciary and court participants to ensure that we can provide solutions deemed appropriate for matters to proceed. Since the courts are an essential component of our society, we must make adjustments and accommodations where possible to operate in this environment."

Courts continue to be restricted to participants necessary for the proceedings. This includes counsel, accused, defendants, witnesses, complainants, victims, support workers and members of the media.

However, the presiding judge may limit access to the courtroom as deemed appropriate.

Farmers call on Ottawa to help with rotting potatoes 

New Brunswick farmers want Ottawa to speed up a program that would relieve farmers from some of the impact from the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Last month, Ottawa announced a $50-million Surplus Food Purchase Program. But farmers say there hasn't been any real follow up since and "millions of pounds of potatoes are sitting in storage and starting to rot."

"We need to finally settle with the province and federal government so that we can dispose of these potatoes now," said Matt Hemphill, executive director of Potatoes New Brunswick in a news release last week.

"That could mean turning them to cattle feed or creating more freezer capacity to get them processed into french fries or donating to food banks. But the reality is we need help and support to do that, and the government has yet to make any tangible move in the right direction."

New Brunswick farmers are saying 'millions of pounds of potatoes are sitting in storage and starting to rot' throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. (Anna Desmarais/CBC)

The produce-driven organization also said the closure of restaurants and bars across the country has meant a drastic drop in the number of people ordering plates of french fries. For potato farmers, this resulted in the equivalent of 700 transport truckloads of potatoes in surplus in New Brunswick alone.

Richard Strang, CEO of Strang's Produce in Malden, almost 20 kilometres northeast of Port-Elgin, said government needs to remember farmers are working with perishable food items. 

"The longer they delay, the greater the risk of spoilage and the increased chance we have to deal with potato blight in addition to the surplus.

Strang said this could have a severe impact on farm jobs, processing plants, grocery stores and the restaurant industry.

What to do if you have symptoms

People concerned they might have COVID-19 can take a self-assessment on the government website at gnb.ca. 

Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included: a fever above 38 C, a new cough or worsening chronic cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, new onset of fatigue, new onset of muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell, and difficulty breathing. In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes.

People with two of those symptoms are asked to:

  • Stay at home.

  • Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor.

  • Describe symptoms and travel history.

  • Follow instructions.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elizabeth Fraser

Reporter/Editor

Elizabeth Fraser is a reporter/editor with CBC New Brunswick based in Fredericton. She's originally from Manitoba. Story tip? elizabeth.fraser@cbc.ca

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