New Brunswick

N.B. COVID-19 roundup: 11 new cases, 19,000 eligible youth still not vaccinated

New Brunswick Public Health announced 11 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and urged parents and guardians to get their children who are eligible vaccinated now, before school starts.

School plan to be announced next week

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jennifer Russell asks parents and guardians to ensure children 12 and over get their COVID-19 vaccinations. (Government of New Brunswick)

Latest

  • 9 of the 11 new cases are in the Moncton region, Zone 1
  • Horizon, Vitalité reduce physical distancing in some areas
  • Chamber seeks input on vaccine passports
  • Businesses struggle to find enough workers
  • Harvest festival details vaccine proof requirements
  • 70.5% of all eligible New Brunswickers now fully vaccinated
  • Exposure notice prompts Area 506 mask policy change
  • New possible exposures
  • Previous exposures

New Brunswick Public Health announced 11 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday and revealed nearly 19,000 eligible youth still aren't vaccinated, just 3½ weeks before school starts.

Another 11,500 New Brunswickers aged 12 to 19 have had only one dose, according to a news release.

Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, urges parents and guardians of these children, who represent 46 per cent of eligible youth, to ensure they get their vaccinations as soon as possible.

"With students going back to school on Sept. 7, and a two-week time span needed after your second dose to have full immunity, parents and guardians need to book an appointment immediately to get their children fully vaccinated, or receive at least the first dose, if they have not yet done so," Russell said in a statement.

"We all need two doses of the vaccine to be fully protected."

As of Thursday, 34,968 New Brunswickers aged 12 to 19 are fully vaccinated.

People are only eligible to get their second dose 28 days after their first.

Guidelines for the 2021-22 school year are being finalized and will be released next week, said Education Minister Dominic Cardy. They will be based on the evolving science and the success of last year, he said.

"Our goal is as close to a normal year as possible in the face of challenges from the delta variant, while we protect those who cannot be vaccinated and those under 12 still waiting for vaccines to be approved," said Cardy.

A total of 70.5 per cent of New Brunswickers aged 12 and older are now double-dosed, up from 70.2 on Wednesday, while 83.1 per cent have received at least one dose, up from 83.

Several community vaccination clinics continue to accept walk-ins. A list is available online.

People can also book an appointment online through a Horizon or Vitalité health network clinic or through a participating pharmacy.

They are asked to bring their Medicare card, a signed consent form and, for those receiving a second dose, a copy of the record of immunization they received after getting their first dose.

The Moncton region, Zone 1, has 54 of the province's 68 active cases. (CBC)

68 active cases

The 11 new cases confirmed Thursday and 14 more recoveries put the province's active case count at 68.

There aren't any hospitalizations in New Brunswick because of the respiratory disease.

Here is a breakdown of the new cases:

Moncton region, Zone 1, nine cases:

  • A person 19 or under.
  • Two people 20 to 29.
  • Two people 30 to 39.
  • Two people 40 to 49.
  • Two people 50 to 59.

Three of the cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases, and six are under investigation.

Saint John region, Zone 2, two cases:

  • Two people 40 to 49.

Both cases are travel-related.

New Brunswick has had 2,471 confirmed cases of COVID-19 during the pandemic. There have been 2,356 recoveries so far and 46 COVID-related deaths.

A total of 390,197 COVID tests have been conducted, including 933 on Wednesday.

Horizon, Vitalité reduce physical distancing in some areas

The province's two regional health authorities have reduced the physical distancing requirement to one metre from two in certain areas of their care centres, despite maintaining most other COVID-19 restrictions under the green phase of recovery.

At the Horizon Health Network, the change applies to waiting rooms and the cafeteria, according to an internal memo sent to all staff, physicians and volunteers on July 30 regarding the updated COVID-19 precautions and protocols.

"Over the course of the pandemic, our ID-IPC [infectious disease and infection prevention and control team] precautions have been successful in mitigating the risk of an outbreak of COVID-19 occurring in our hospitals, which would significantly compromise our ability to deliver critical services," Margaret Melanson, vice-president of quality and patient-centred care, wrote in the memo, obtained by CBC News.

Merita MacMillan, the IPC lead for Horizon, told CBC News the physical distancing change was made to increase seating capacity. It was based on the direction of the ID-IPC COVID-19 regional committee, she said.

Physical distancing requirements will remain at two metres in meeting rooms and amphitheatres and limited occupancy will remain in effect, the internal Horizon memo shows. (Sofia Rodriguez/CBC)

"The two-metre physical distancing requirement remains in effect for all interactions with others," MacMillan said in an emailed statement.

The distancing in departmental lunchrooms, for example, remains at six metres, the "Path to Green Phase 3" memo shows.

In the waiting rooms, temporary renovations for patient separation will be maintained, according to the document. "Dismantling of infrastructure enhancements will occur when COVID-19 activity is below an acceptable threshold level (to be defined based on Public Health Surveillance program)."

Horizon's ID/IPC COVID-19 committee is closely monitoring COVID-19 activity within the province, said MacMillan, and is "prepared to respond and update ID/IPC  precautions should the need arise."

The Vitalité Health Network is "working closely with our partners at Horizon Health Network to harmonize the way we do things between the two organizations as much as possible," said Nicole Frigault, director of quality, risk and patient experience.

A one-metre distance "must be maintained at all times by staff in certain areas, such as meeting rooms, break rooms and cafeterias," she said in an emailed statement.

"Reducing the physical distance from two meters to one metre always includes the presence of physical barriers, such as Plexiglas panels. The wearing of medical masks at all times is maintained." Frigault did not explain how people can eat in the cafeteria with a mask on.

Chamber seeks input on vaccine passports

The Saint John Region Chamber is seeking public input on COVID-19 vaccine passports.

It has launched an online survey, asking residents and businesses whether they support the idea.

"We hope to get a good response so we can gauge public and business appetite on the topic," CEO David Duplisea said in a Facebook post.

The chamber represents more than 1,000 Saint John-area businesses.

The short survey also asks respondents which sector they work in and whether they will ask their customers for proof of vaccination.

New Brunswick is studying the idea of COVID-19 passports, a Department of Health spokesperson said Tuesday.

"We continue to monitor COVID-19 in the province and to discuss this decision with our federal and provincial partners," Bruce Macfarlane said in an emailed statement.

Last month, Health Minister Dorothy Shephard told reporters the province was not considering vaccine passports.

"I believe that we have a pretty good relationship with our partners across this country. And I think that Canada is a leader in the world for getting our population vaccinated," she had said.

"I think that we can do without a vaccine passport on a domestic level."

Macfarlane said "it's an ever-evolving situation" and no decisions have been made.

Businesses struggle to find enough workers

It's been almost two weeks since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted in New Brunswick, but it's still far from business as usual for many business owners who are having a hard time finding workers.

Maurino Pachecho works for the national recruitment agency Bowen Group based in Alberta and is trying to fill a number of positions in New Brunswick.

"We're seeing an influx of of people looking for administrative staff and replacement staff and warehouse staff," he said. "People are asking us for temp relief to fill their short-term needs, which typically turns into long-term needs."

Louis-Phillippe Gauthier, director of provincial affairs for New Brunswick and P.E.I. for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, said 30 to 40 per cent of members say they don't have enough workers.

And the shortage of labour is limiting their sales and production growth, he said.

The sectors hurting the most are the service industry, restaurants and manufacturing, according to Louis-Phillippe Gauthier of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. (CBC)

Many members think COVID employment insurance benefits have created a disincentive to work, according to Gauthier.

"Just last week, while I was on vacation, talking to some of our members, the stories that they're telling me of how the programs are being very generous, and who's being let through, and the lack of controls on the programs, is something that is apparently, it's one of the elements that are causing the tightness in the labour pool," he said.

New Brunswick had a labour shortage before the pandemic, but Gauthier said it's worse than it used to be in some sectors, such as the service industry, restaurants and manufacturing.

As a result, business owners and the employees they do have are working longer hours, machinery is not fully operating, and projects are being delayed, he said.

The shortage is also putting upward pressure on wages, noted Gauthier. The average salary on offer in the province is up about 10 per cent, he said.

Pachecho said a good strategy for employers is to be flexible and show potential employees they'll be treated with kindness and respect.

Harvest festival details vaccine proof requirements

Fredericton's Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival has outlined what it will require as proof of COVID-19 vaccination at the point of admission for The Blues Tent and The Playhouse.

According to the event's website, "acceptable proof" includes the original paper record people receive upon getting their COVID-19 vaccine or a scan or photocopy of the document, a photo of the document on a mobile phone, or an electronic record from MyHeatlhNB.

Festival staff will visually inspect the record, but "Harvest will not collect or store any patron medical information," the website states.

People will also have to show a government-issued photo identification, according to the updated post Wednesday.

The festival has faced some criticism after announcing last week that it will require anyone attending shows be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before showing up at the festival, which runs Sept. 14-19.

But music director Brent Staeben said people were told before they bought tickets that vaccinations might be required.

And some patrons appreciate the extra measure to help try to keep everyone safe.

Children under 12 years of age who are too young to be vaccinated will be permitted to attend but must wear a mask at all times when in the venue, according to the website.

Patrons who have received a medical exemption from vaccination, or are otherwise unable to be vaccinated as a result of a ground protected by the New Brunswick Human Rights Act, are asked to contact the festival.

Exposure notice prompts Area 506 mask policy change

Saint John's Area 506 live music festival has changed its masking protocols following a possible COVID-19 exposure last weekend.

Organizers say they were notified Wednesday by Public Health that someone who attended Saturday's show at Long Wharf had potentially been exposed to the virus.

That person, their "pod mates" and any volunteers or staff members who may have had contact with the group have since been contacted by Public Health, according to a statement on the festival's Facebook page Wednesday night.

"We're pleased to advise that the pod system & mobile ordering has been incredibly effective in minimizing contact & ensuring any exposure is limited," it said.

AREA 506 organizers say the festival's 'pod' system and mobile ordering has minimized contact, ensuring any possible exposure to the virus is limited. (AREA 506/Facebook)

The festival seating is pod-based, giving groups of six or 10 people their own space to watch the shows while physically distanced from others.

"Further to our commitment to make AREA 506 as safe and responsible as possible, we will be making masks mandatory for all servers this weekend, and asking attendees to wear a mask whenever they are outside their pods."

The Waterfront concert series, which kicked off July 16, wraps up this weekend with Measha Brueggergosman and special guest Apryll Aileen on Friday at 8 p.m., followed by Matt Mays with special guests Jamie Comeau & the Crooked Teeth and the Backstays on Saturday at 8 p.m.

New possible exposures

New possible COVID-19 exposure notices have been added to the growing list for the Moncton region, Zone 1.

The notices include:

  • Zio's Pizza, 214 Church St., Moncton, on Aug. 7-8 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Vibrant Life Meals, 214 Church St., Moncton, on Aug. 7-8 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Baci Italia Restaurant, 204 Church St., Moncton, on Aug. 6-8 between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.
  • Champlain Place, 477 Paul St., Dieppe, on Aug. 6 between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
  • American Eagle, 477 Paul St., Dieppe, on Aug. 6 between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
  • 24/7 Fitness Club, 121 Pine Glen Rd., Riverview, on Aug. 4 between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Oceanside Fitness, 184 Main St, Shediac, on Aug. 3 between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

There are also a new possible exposure in the Saint John region, Zone 2:

  • St. Mark's Anglican Church of Canada (28 Main St., St. George, on Aug. 7 between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Anyone with symptoms of the virus, as well as anyone who has been at the site of a possible public exposure is being urged to request a test online or call Tele-Care 811 to get an appointment.

The full list of possible exposures is updated regularly and is available on the government's website.

Previous exposures

Public Health identified positive cases in people who may have been infectious while travelling on the following flights:

  • Aug. 6 – WestJet Flight 4700 – from Toronto to Fredericton, departed at 7 a.m.
  • Aug. 2 – Air Canada Flight 8904 – from Montreal to Moncton, departed at 4 p.m.
  • July 26 – WestJet Flight 3404 – from Toronto to Fredericton, departed at 4 p.m.

  • July 25 – Air Canada Flight 8904 – from Montreal to Moncton, departed at 7:54 p.m.

  • July 25 – Air Canada Flight 7546 – from Toronto to Fredericton, departed at 2:27 p.m.

Public Health has also identified places in New Brunswick where people may have been exposed to the coronavirus during the past two weeks.

Moncton region, Zone 1:

  • Aug. 10 between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. – McDonald's – 900 Mountain Rd., Moncton
  • Aug. 8 between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. – Alma Lobster Shop, 36 Shore Lane, Alma
  • Aug. 7 between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. – Cassi Lounge and Bar, 221 St. George St., Moncton
  • Aug. 7 between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – Café Clementine Deli, 62 Elmwood Dr., Moncton
  • Aug. 2 to Aug. 7 – Zio's Pizza and Baci Italia, 214 Church St., Moncton
  • Aug.6 and Aug. 7 – Pump House – Brewpub and Restaurant, 5 Orange Lane, Moncton
  • Aug. 6 between 11 p.m. and midnight - Navigator Pub, 190 Robinson Court, Moncton
  • Aug. 6 between 11 p.m. and midnight – Wize Guyz Pub, 176 Robinson St., Moncton
  • Aug.6 between 11 p.m. and midnight – The 3rd Glass, 819 Main St., Moncton
  • Aug. 6 between 11 p.m. and midnight – Pizza Girls, 827 Main St., Moncton
  • Aug. 6 between 9:15 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. – Escape Room, 94 Lewisville Rd., Moncton
  • Aug. 6 between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. – Canadian Tire, 1380 Mountain Rd, Moncton

  • Aug. 5 between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Aug. 4 between 10:30 a.m. and midnight, and Aug. 2 between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. – Pump House, 5 Orange Lane, Moncton

  • Aug. 4 between 3 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., Aug. 2 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., July 31 between 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., July 30 between 4 p.m. and midnight and July 29 between 3 p.m. and midnight - Monk10 Taproom and Fine Eatery, 40 Highfield St., Moncton

  • Aug. 4 between 4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. – Planet Fitness, 80 Mapleton Rd., Moncton

  • Aug. 4 between 1 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. – NB Liquor, 2999 Fredericton Rd., Salisbury

  • Aug. 3 between 8:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. – Laundromat, 382 George St., Moncton

  • August 3 between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. – Sand Bar – Brewpub and Restaurant, 70 Pointe du Chêne Rd., Shediac)
  • Aug. 3 between 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. - Sandbar Restaurant, 70 Pointe du Chêne Rd., Pointe-du-Chêne

  • Aug. 3 between 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. – Planet Fitness, 80 Mapleton Rd., Moncton

  • Aug. 3 between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., Aug. 4 between 7:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. – Global Pet Foods, 106-450 Pinewood Rd., Moncton

  • Aug. 3 between 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. – Fit for Less, 165 Main St., Moncton

  • Aug. 3 between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. – Boutique Beausoleil, 231 Parlee Beach Rd., Pointe-du-Chêne

  • Aug. 3 between 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. – Fit for Less, 165 Main St., Moncton

  • Aug. 3 between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. – Chez Ange Bistro, 318 Main St., Shediac

  • Aug. 2 between midnight and 3:30 a.m., and Aug. 3 between 9:30 p.m. and 2 a.m. – Miss Cue, 459 Mountain Road, Moncton

  • Aug. 2 between 9:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. - Tire Shack, 190 John St., Moncton

  • Aug. 2 between 7  p.m. and 8:30 p.m. - Boardwalk, 2800 Mountain Rd., Moncton

  • Aug. 2 between 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. - Residence Inn by Marriott, 600 Main St. Moncton

  • Aug. 2 between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. – New Brunswick Day, Hillsborough Arena, 32 Mill Street, Hillsborough

  • Aug. 1 between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. – Osaka Hibachi, 599 Main St., Moncton

  • Aug. 1 between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. – Carrabas Italian Grill, 1000 Main St., Moncton

  • Aug. 1 between 8:30 p.m. and closing – Sports Rock, 451 Paul St., Dieppe

  • Aug. 1 between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m.- Katch Seafood & Pizza Girls, 827 Main St., Moncton

  • Aug.1 between 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. – Goya's Pizza, 96 Main St., Sackville

  • July 31 between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. – Pump House, 5 Orange Lane, Moncton

  • July 30 between noon and 11:30 p.m., July 31 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. – La Coast, 358 Main St., Shediac

  • July 30 between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., July 31 between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. – Gahan House Hub City, 55 Queen St., Moncton

  • July 30 between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. – Keg Steakhouse, 576 Main St., Moncton

  • July 30 between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.- Angie's Show Palace, 187 Champlain St., Dieppe

  • July 30 between 7 p.m. and midnight - Osaka Hibachi, 599 Main St., Moncton

  • July 30 between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. - Cassi Lounge, 212 St. George St., Moncton

  • July 30 between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. - Kings Club, 841 Main St., Moncton

  • July 30 between 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. – Cannabis NB, 40 Wyse St., Moncton 

  • July 30 between noon and 2 p.m. – Atlantic Superstore, 65 Main St., Moncton 

  • July 30 between 12:30 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. – H&M, 1477 Paul St., Dieppe 

  • July 30 between 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. – Chapters,  499 Paul St., Moncton 

  • July 30 between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. – Tokai Ramen,  823 Main St., Moncton

  • July 29 between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. – Tide and Boar, 700 Main St., Moncton

  • July 29 between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. – Captain Dan's, 50 Pointe Du Chêne Rd., Shediac

  • July 29 between 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.  – St. James Gate, 14 Church St., Moncton 

  • July 29 between 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. – Magic Mountain Mini Putt, 150 Magic Mountain Rd., Moncton 

  • July 28 between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. – Pump House – Brewpub & Restaurant,  5 Orange Lane, Moncton

  • July 28 between 3 p.m. and midnight and July 29 between 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. – Cheers' Beverage Room and Catering, 63 Brandon St., Moncton

  • July 28 between 3 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. – Pizza Delight, 188 Mountain Rd., Moncton

  • July 28 between 8 p.m. and 2:30 a.m., July 29 between 4 p.m. and 2:30 a.m., July 30 between 8 p.m. and 2:30 a.m., July 31 between 4 p.m. and 2:30 a.m., and Aug. 1 between 9:30 p.m. and 2:30 a.m. – The Furnace Room, 191 Robinson St., Moncton

Saint John region, Zone 2:

  • Aug. 7 between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. – Area 506 Concert, Long Wharf, Saint John
  • Aug. 6 between 5:50 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. – Fairview Lanes, 87 Lansdowne Ave., Saint John
  • Aug. 6 between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. – Big Tide Brewery, 47 Princess St., Saint John
  • Aug. 6 between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.  – Oasis Trampoline Park, 212 Parkway Mall, 212 McAllister Dr., Saint John
  • Aug. 5 between 8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. – Eighty Three Bar Arcade, 43 Princess St., Saint John
  • Aug. 5 between 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. – Hampton Brewing Company, 65 Robertson Rd, Hampton
  • Aug. 5 between 2:30 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. – Princess Auto, 35 Depot Ct., Saint John
  • Aug. 5 between 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. – Value Village, 212 McAllister Dr., Saint John
  • Aug. 4 between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. – Mrs. Dunster's Bakery, 30 Leonard Dr., Sussex
  • Aug. 1 between 6 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. – Saint John Alehouse, 1 Market Square, Saint John
  • July 31 between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m.– Montana's Restaurant, 51 Depot Court

  • July 30 between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. – Britt's, 42 Princess St., Saint John

  • July 30 between 8 p.m. and 2:30 a.m. – Eighty Three Bar Arcade, 43 Princess St., Saint John

  • July 27 between 5:30 p.m and 7:30 p.m. – Saint John Ale House, 1 Market Sq., Saint John

  • July 27 between 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. – Hopscotch, 4 Canterbury St., Saint John

  • July 27 between 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. – Italian By Night, 97 Germain  St., Saint John

  • July 27 between 10:15 p.m. and midnight – Churchill's Bar and Pub, 8 Grannan St., Saint John

  • July 27 between 11:30 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. – Uptown Pub Down Under Bar, 88 Prince William St., Saint John

Fredericton region, Zone 3:

There is a single exposure notice for the Fredericton area on July 26 for Maritime Bus Coach 1908, from Moncton to Fredericton, which departed at 4:20 p.m.

Bathurst region, Zone 6:

  • Aug. 4 between 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. - Aquaparc de la Rivière Tracadie, 3205 Alcide Rd., Tracadie

Miramichi region, Zone 7:

  • August 4 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and Aug. 3 between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. – High Q dispensary, 2898 Peters Rd., Esgenoopetitj First Nation

  • Aug. 4 between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. – Vicker's River Tubing, 906 Howard Rd., Blackville

  • Aug. 1 between noon and 9 p.m. – Bay du Vin Island Event

  • Aug. 1 between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. – Westside Bar, 546 MicMac Rd., Esgenoopetitj First Nation

  • July 31 between 11:30 p.m. and 1 a.m., Aug. 1 between 11 p.m. to close – Pub 981, 981 Principale St., Neguac

What to do if you have a symptom

People concerned they might have COVID-19 can take a self-assessment test online.

Public Health says symptoms of the illness have included a fever above 38 C, a new or worsening cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, a new onset of fatigue, and difficulty breathing.

In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes.

People with one of those symptoms should stay at home, call 811 or their doctor and follow instructions.

With files from CBC's Information Morning Fredericton

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