New Brunswick

N. B. COVID-19 roundup: Recoveries jump to 70, no new cases detected

No new cases of COVID-19 have been detected, the government reported Saturday, as recoveries eclipsed active cases.

New Brunswick has 42 active cases as recoveries jump by 10 in one day

Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, says measures taken by the province are 'clearly making a difference,' but it's too soon to tell if the COVID-19 pandemic is slowing in the province. (Submitted by the Government of New Brunswick)

Latest

  • New Brunswick doesn't use testing to decide who's recovered
  • RCMP on the lookout for people breaking physical distancing rules
  • Province investigates transmission mode of six cases

No new cases of COVID-19 have been detected, the government reported Saturday, as recoveries eclipsed active cases.

A government news release said there have been 112 cases in total in New Brunswick. But the 70 recoveries mean there are only 42 active cases.

It's too soon to say the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic is slowing in the province, but the numbers show that physical distancing and other measures are working, said chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell.

"The measures we are taking are not going to change," Russell is quoted as saying in the news release. "We do not want to become complacent and then find ourselves losing ground to this highly contagious disease.

"I know it is difficult but please keep doing what you are doing because it is clearly making a difference."

The province has done 7,600 tests since the beginning of the outbreak. This includes 330 tests done in the last 24 hours.

Ten people have been hospitalized in total. Five have been discharged, and three of the five remaining are in the intensive care unit.

New Brunswick doesn't use testing to decide who's recovered

People diagnosed with COVID-19 will be considered recovered 14 days after showing their first symptom, unless they continue to have a fever or feel unwell.

Those people can stop isolating themselves at that point, government spokesperson Anne Mooers said in an emailed statement Saturday.

Tests are not the best way to determine recovery because, Mooers said, they can still be positive even if the person is no longer contagious.

"Hospitalized patients will be assessed on an individual basis by the treating physician and/ or infectious disease specialist to determine when isolation precautions can be discontinued," she said.

Mooers said it's "reasonable to believe" that people who have recovered would have immunity, but because this coronavirus is new, it's not clear how strong the immunity is or how long it will last.

She said that's still to be determined by research being done across the world.

RCMP on the lookout for people breaking physical distancing rules

RCMP officers are patrolling their regular routes, continuing to staff highways and looking out for people breaking the rules around COVID-19.

Although people are being asked to stay home if possible, RCMP spokesperson Jullie Rogers-Marsh said RCMP have  a regular number of officers patrolling during the long weekend. 

She said officers are "using their discretion" when enforcing the power given to them to ticket people under the Emergency Measures Act.

"It would be our regular patrol," she said. "Tickets are being issued when appropriate."

Rogers-Marsh said officers have issued a number of tickets in the past week but wouldn't say how many.

"If we come across a situation where people are not following the guidelines, they could be given a ticket," she said.

She said officers are getting their directions about COVID-19 enforcement from the province. The province has asked people to avoid non-essential travel, and being near anyone who's not in their household. This includes being in the car with people they don't live with, gathering outdoors or being outdoors and not keeping a two-metre distance between each person.

"It's Easter weekend, everybody wants to spend it with their friends and family and there certainly are many traditions that simply are not possible this year," Rogers-Marsh said.

"We're encouraging no family gatherings with people outside of your own household, no social gathering of any kind even outdoors."

Province investigates transmission mode of six cases

Of the 112 cases of COVID-19 previously confirmed in New Brunswick, 64 are travel-related, 36 are close contacts of confirmed cases, six are the result of community transmission and six remain under investigation, the government said in its regular Saturday statement about the disease.

The gender breakdown of positive cases is 42 per cent male and 58 per cent female.

The majority of the people tested are between the ages of 20 and 69. The age group that's been tested the most is 40 to 49 with 1,377 tests.

In the release, Premier Blaine Higgs thanked all essential workers for working on the holiday weekend and keeping New Brunswickers safe.

"Many people who work in the private or public sectors would be enjoying time off this Easter weekend with family and friends," said Higgs.

"Instead they are doing the most important work they will ever do. On behalf of your fellow New Brunswickers, thank you for working in these trying times. What you are doing is really appreciated."

What to do if you have symptoms?

People concerned they might have COVID-19 can take a self-assessment on the government website. Symptoms of coronavirus include fever, cough or breathlessness, as well as sore throat, headache and runny nose. People with symptoms are asked to:

  • Stay at home.

  • Immediately call Tele-Care 811.

  • Describe symptoms and travel history.

  • Follow instructions carefully.

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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