New Brunswick

N.B. COVID-19 roundup: No new deaths, active cases continue to drop

For the first time in two weeks, New Brunswick did not record any new COVID-related deaths Tuesday and the province's active cases continue to drop, with recoveries outpacing new cases.

89 recoveries, 21 new cases

Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health, said the COVID-19 measures implemented by the province are helping to reduce the number of cases. (Ed Hunter/CBC)

Latest

  • Province 'clarifies' 100% vaccination rate calculations
  • New cases in 2 schools, dashboard map updated
  • Atlantic COVID roundup
  • Moncton Wildcats game among public exposure notices

For the first time in two weeks, New Brunswick did not record any new COVID-related deaths Tuesday and the province's active cases continue to drop, with recoveries outpacing new cases.

Public Health reported 89 recoveries and 21 new cases, putting the active case count at 521, down from 589 Monday.

Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, is pleased.

"The measures that are in place are having a positive impact and have put us on a good path," she said in a statement.

The Campbellton region, Zone 5, had the highest COVID-19 death rate in Canada during the 14 days up to Oct. 24, at 35.7 per 100,000 people, federal data shows.

The province had the fourth-highest COVID death rate in the country during the two weeks up to Oct. 22, at 4.3 per 100,000, according to the Health Canada figures.

The national rate was 1.4 deaths per 100,000.

(CBC)

The Campbellton region is under circuit breaker restrictions until at least Nov. 5.

The following areas are under circuit breaker restrictions until at least Friday night, until Public Health determines the situation is more stable: Zone 1, Moncton region, as far north as and including Sainte-Anne-de-Kent and including Havelock in Zone 2; the northern portion of Zone 3 from and including Deerville and Florenceville-Bristol, but excluding Hayesville and Parker Ridge; as well as all of Zone 4, the Edmundston region.

Forty people are in hospital because of the virus, including 14 in intensive care.

Of the hospital cases, 20 are unvaccinated, three are partially vaccinated and 17 are fully vaccinated, Public Health said.

Of those in ICU, 11 are unvaccinated, two are partially vaccinated and one is fully vaccinated.

The new cases are spread across five of the seven health zones.

Ten of them involve people aged 19 or under, Public Health said. Of those, six are under age 10 and too young to be vaccinated, daily testing data on the COVID-19 dashboard reveals.

Of the new cases, 13 — or 61.9 per cent — are unvaccinated, and eight — or 38.1 per cent — are fully vaccinated.

Here is the breakdown:

Moncton region, Zone 1, two cases:

  • Two people 40 to 49

Both cases are under investigation.

Saint John region, Zone 2, 11 cases:

  • Five people 19 or under
  • A person 20 to 29
  • Three people 40 to 49
  • Two people 50 to 59

All 11 cases are under investigation.

Fredericton region, Zone 3, three cases:

  • Two people 19 or under
  • A person 70 to 79

All three cases are under investigation.

The number of active cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick dropped to 521 Tuesday from 589. (CBC)

Campbellton region, Zone 5, four cases:

  • Three people 19 or under
  • A person 80 to 89

All four cases are under investigation.

Miramichi region, Zone 7, one case:

  • A person 20 to 29

The case is under investigation.

New Brunswick has had 6,206 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, with 5,573 recoveries so far and 111 COVID-related deaths.

A total of 520,718 lab tests have been conducted to date, including 2,170 on Monday.

On Monday, 10,710 rapid test kits were distributed.

Twenty mobile sites in four health zones have been added to the "hub" pickup locations across the province.

A full list of the Horizon Health Network sites and Vitalité Health Network sites, as well as their hours of operation, can be found online.

Province 'clarifies' 100% vaccination rate calculations

The New Brunswick government has issued a statement to "clarify" how it calculates some age groups as being 100 per cent vaccinated against COVID-19 when it knows "there may still be some people" in those age groups who have not been vaccinated.

The COVID-19 dashboard lists people aged 70 to 79 as being 100 per cent fully vaccinated. It also lists 100 per cent of those aged 80 to 84 and 85 and above as having received their first dose of a vaccine.

"There may be a number of reasons for this," the government posted on social media Tuesday.

The COVID-19 dashboard shows the vaccination rate by age groups for first doses in blue and second doses in green. (Government of New Brunswick)

"The population numbers used as the denominator for each age group is based on estimates provided by Statistics Canada. The actual population of that age group may be slightly higher," it said.

In addition, the province offered COVID-19 vaccines at no cost to anyone in New Brunswick, regardless of their citizenship or residency status. This "may inflate the numbers," the government said.

An accompanying graphic shows the double vaccination rate among those aged 70 to 79 as being 98 per cent. The first dose vaccination rate among those aged 80 and older is still listed as 100 per cent.

The new graphic the province posted on social media Tuesday shows the two-dose vaccination rate among those aged 70 to 79 is 98 per cent, not 100 per cent, as indicated on the COVID-19 dashboard. (Government of New Brunswick)

"We are still encouraged to see that some age cohorts show as having reached 100% of people vaccinated with at least one dose, and we encourage everyone to get vaccinated," the statement said.

Last Thursday, when asked during the COVID briefing whether the dashboard showing 100 per cent vaccinated for certain groups meant 100 per cent of people in those age groups were actually vaccinated, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jennifer Russell replied, "Based on my understanding of that information, my interpretation is the same as yours. Yes, that would be 100 per cent, if that's what the numbers are showing."

Last Friday, Health Minister Dorothy Shephard was asked during the COVID briefing why the dashboard was showing 100 per cent vaccination for some age groups when a number of nursing homes report that some people in those age groups have received no vaccines at all.

Shephard said the numbers "could be skewed slightly" if people from other provinces were vaccinated in New Brunswick.

"But we will certainly endeavour to ensure that there is as much accuracy as possible," she said. 

"The most important thing," Shephard said, is that the province knows which nursing home residents remain unvaccinated and continues to work with them and their families to get as many vaccinated as possible.

"So we will definitely reconcile our stats for you. But I think it's just a little bit of a glitch."

A total of 84 per cent of New Brunswickers aged 12 and older are now fully vaccinated, up from 83.9 per cent on Monday, while 92.2 per cent have received at least one dose, which is unchanged.

The province's goal is to get at least 90 per cent of the total population — not just the eligible population — double-dosed now that the highly transmissible delta variant is driving the fourth wave.

According to CBC's vaccine tracker, 74.1 per cent of the total population is fully vaccinated, and 81.4 per cent have received one dose.

The other Atlantic provinces all have a higher rate of their total population fully vaccinated, according to the tracker. In Nova Scotia, it's 76.3 per cent, in Prince Edward Island, 77.4 per cent and Newfoundland and Labrador, 79.7 per cent.

The national double-dose rate for the total population is 73.2 per cent. The single dose rate is 77.4 per cent.

New cases in 2 schools, dashboard map updated

Three new cases of COVID-19 have been identified in two schools, according to the COVID-19 dashboard, which has been updated again to include the names of schools on the map, rather than just indicate them with an icon.

The schools with new cases are Lou MacNarin School and École Champlain, both in the Moncton region, Zone 1, the dashboard shows.

Thirty-seven schools are currently impacted.

A total of 395 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at 108 schools since the beginning of the school year.

The names of schools are now included on the COVID-19 dashboard map, along with the blue icons, which indicate actively impacted schools and green icons, which indicate schools not currently impacted. (Government of New Brunswick)

A case has been confirmed at the Dieppe Boys and Girls Club in the Moncton region, Zone 1, according to a news release.

People who have been in close contact with a confirmed case will be notified directly by Public Health or the club for contact tracing, Public Health said.

Since Sept. 7, 59 early learning and child-care centres have had confirmed cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases has not been released.

Atlantic COVID roundup

Nova Scotia reported a new COVID-related death Tuesday, the province's 100th since the beginning of the pandemic, and seven new cases. There are 134 active cases of COVID-19 in the province and 10 people hospitalized because of the virus, including one in intensive care.

Newfoundland and Labrador reported 36 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and has 90 active cases, with one person in hospital.

Prince Edward Island has three active cases, as of Monday.

Moncton Wildcats game among public exposure notices

Public Health has added a number of new public exposure notices Tuesday, including the Avenir Centre, an 8,800-seat indoor multi-sports arena in Moncton, Zone 1, on Oct. 24 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The Moncton Wildcats played the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of Quebec at that time in front of a crowd of 3,780, according to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's website.

The Miramichi Hospital emergency department waiting room in Zone 7, on Oct. 25 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. is also among the new exposure notices.

For the full list of new and previous public exposure notices, please visit the Government of New Brunswick's website.

Public Health recommends that people who have been at a possible public exposure site and are not fully vaccinated get a COVID test, even if they don't have symptoms. They can book an appointment online or call Tele-Care 811.

If they do have symptoms, they must isolate while they await their results.

For people who are fully vaccinated, Public Health recommends they monitor for symptoms for 14 days after the possible exposure and get a COVID test if symptoms develop.

Anyone who frequented the locations at the specified dates and times should also avoid visiting settings with vulnerable populations, such as nursing homes, correctional facilities and shelters, for the next 14 days.

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.

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