New Brunswick

New Brunswick's lone case of COVID-19 still under investigation after 4 days

The province has no new cases of COVID-19 three days after moving into phase yellow of its COVID-19 recovery plan

Province announced no new cases of the respiratory illness on Monday

The province has announced no new cases of COVID-19 since last Thursday. (The Canadian Press/NIAID-RML via AP)

New Brunswick has no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 three days after moving into phase yellow of its COVID-19 recovery plan

There is still one active case of COVID-19 in the province. The case, which was confirmed last week, is in the Campbellton region and involves someone under the age of 19.

The province said the case is still under investigation.

To date, 22,572 tests have been performed for COVID-19, and 120 people have recovered from the respiratory illness.

More changes coming this week

The yellow phase that started Friday allows more businesses to reopen, larger gatherings and more recreation. But  Dr. Jennifer Russell, the chief medical officer of health, said residents still have to stay vigilant because the virus will linger until a vaccine is available. 

Changes on the new phase, include the following:

  • People can spend time with family and friends outside their bubbles. The province is recommending indoor gatherings be 10 people or fewer. 
  • Non-regulated health care professionals, including acupuncture and naturopath businesses, can reopen. 
  • Barbers, hairstylists, estheticians, tattoo artists and spas can reopen their businesses.   

On Friday, Premier Blaine Higgs said businesses will need to respect physical distancing measures except when clients are receiving services. 

This coming Friday, additional restrictions will be lifted. They include: 

  • Outdoor public gatherings of 50 people or fewer will be permitted with physical distancing.
  • Religious services, including weddings and funerals, of 50 people or fewer can take place indoors or outdoors with physical distancing.
  • Regional health authorities will increase the number of elective surgeries they perform.  
  • A number of non-emergency services will increase. 
  • Swimming pools, saunas, water parks can reopen.
  • Gyms, local yoga and dance studios. Rinks, pool halls and bowling alleys will also be allowed to reopen.
  • Low-contact sports activities are allowed.

Higgs said sports can operate under the guidance of their respective national or provincial organizations if they identify ways to limit the number and intensity of close contacts during play.

No more regular briefings

As New Brunswick tries out a new phase of recovery, the public will no longer get regular briefings from the people in charge.

Both Higgs and Russell have been holding regular briefings about the coronavirus pandemic since early March. At first they briefed the public and took reporters' questions every day of the week, then just on weekdays and lately just three times a week.

On Friday, after Higgs shared details of the next phase of recovery, and both he and Russell warned that the pandemic was not over, the government announced that there would be no further regular briefings. 

New Brunswick is still under the state of emergency that was put into effect March 19 to slow the spread of the coronavirus, but the declaration was modified Friday to reflect the latest recovery phase.

Higgs has been adamant about keeping New Brunswick sealed off as much as possible to try to prevent additional cases in the province. And as New Brunswick continues to restart its economy, he said other provinces will wish they were in a similar position.

"I think it's important New Brunswickers understand that we're able to allow the freedom inside the province because of the position we're in right now in relation to the number of active cases," Higgs said Friday.

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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