New Brunswick

N.B. COVID-19 roundup: One new case reported Monday, vaccine doses arriving this week

Doctor in northern New Brunswick frustrated by misinformation spreading about COVID-19, especially since the Edmundston area moved to the orange phase last week. Meanwhile, 1,950 doses of vaccine are set to arrive this week.

New case in Moncton region, weekend COVID-19 vaccine clinic being set up in Miramichi

Most visits to the Edmundston Regional Hospital have been suspended due to an outbreak of COVID-19. (Bernard LeBel/Radio-Canada)

Latest

  • One new case, in Moncton region (Zone 1)
  • Vaccine doses to arrive this week
  • Vaccine clinics being set up in Miramichi
  • 65 active cases of COVID-19
  • Exposure notification
  • What to do if you have a symptom

The province is reporting one new case of COVID-19 on Monday.

The case is an individual 60-69 in the Moncton region (Zone 1) and is under investigation, according to Public Health.

There are a total of 59 active cases in New Brunswick, and 140,098 tests have been conducted as of Monday. There are currently three people in hospital, two of them in intensive care.

Virus 'a slap in the face' for hospital, doctor says

A doctor in northern New Brunswick says he's frustrated by misinformation spreading about COVID-19, especially since the Edmundston area moved back to the orange phase last week.

Dr. John Tobin, head of the family medicine department in Zone 4 for the Vitalite Health Network, has seen an increase of misinformation about the virus.

He has seen suggestions that it isn't real, and that masks don't work and the new Pfizer vaccine is just manipulation by the pharmaceutical industry.

Case numbers for New Brunswick as of Dec. 14, 2020. (CBC News)

"This thing is for real," said Tobin, who has been practising for almost 30 years.

"I've never seen anything like this in my entire career."

He's also seen a lot of people pointing fingers and is reminding them to be kind. 

"To get through this pandemic, we need to be positive with each other," said Tobin, whose uncle is on a ventilator in Quebec right now.

The Edmundston area, also known as Zone four, moved into orange-level restrictions last week because of increased cases and an outbreak at the Edmundston Regional Hospital.

Public Health has said seven of the cases are employees at the hospital and 24 workers are self-isolating. It warns the hospital's ability to provide service could be impacted if case numbers were to rise.

"It's kind of like a slap in the face," said Tobin. "This virus is really insidious and tends to come up when you least expect it."

Tobin wouldn't comment about the cases at the hospital because they're being investigated by New Brunswick Public Health.

He did say elective surgeries and appointments have been put on hold to deal with the virus. And hospital rooms are ready for possible COVID-19 patients.

"We're pretty up to par and ready." 

Although everything seems to be under control now, he expects a second — and even a third round — of COVID-19 tests to take place this week.

"We need to suspect every patient as a potential carrier."

Tobin said his team has been working hard since COVID-19 made its way into the Edmundston hospital. He's just hopeful they can keep going on adrenalin until vaccines are readily available.

"They're really work horses in here and they want to get through this as soon as possible," he said.

N.B.'s first shipment of vaccine to arrive this week

New Brunswick's first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine is set to arrive this week, and a vaccination clinic is scheduled to take place in Miramichi on Saturday, Dec. 19 and Sunday, Dec. 20.

Those eligible for the first 1,950 doses are being contacted directly through their employer or nursing home, according to the Department of Health.

As with other provinces, New Brunswick is basing its prioritization and sequencing on the work of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommendations on key populations to be immunized first – including health-care workers in direct contact with patients and nursing home residents.

Exposure notification

Public Health added three new flights Friday to its list of possible exposures. A person who has tested positive may have been infectious while travelling on Dec. 4 on the following flights:

  • Air Canada Flight 8372 from Fort McMurray to Calgary.
  • Air Canada Flight 144 from Calgary to Toronto.
  • Air Canada Flight 8918 from Toronto to Moncton.

Anyone who travelled on these flights should "continue to follow the directives given to them during the travel registration process and when they entered New Brunswick," the advisory said.

What to do if you have a symptom

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

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, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell.

  • 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 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

With files from Information Morning Fredericton

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