N.B. COVID-19 roundup: 2 new cases, 3 zones have no active cases
Two zones see new cases as number of active cases in province drops to 64
- New requirements for truck drivers
- 2 new cases
- 64 active cases
- 3 of 7 zones have no active cases
- N.B. company participates in airport quick-results test program
Public Health is reporting two new cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick, affecting two zones.
The department has not held any live COVID updates this week, but in a news release Wednesday, it noted the cases break down in this way:
Moncton region, Zone 1, one case:
- An individual 50 to 59, who is self-isolating and whose case is under investigation.
Edmundston region, Zone 4, one case:
- An individual 70 to 79, who is a staff member at Manoir Belle Vue and is self-isolating.
The number of active cases in the province has dropped to 64, and there are three zones with no active cases. They are the Fredericton, Campbellton and Miramichi regions.
The number of confirmed cases is 1,426. Since Tuesday, 13 people have recovered for a total of 1,335 recoveries.
There have been 26 deaths, and two people with the illness are in hospital, including one in intensive care. A total of 225,729 tests have been conducted, 797 since Tuesday's report.
New requirements for truck drivers
As of Monday, truck drivers will be expected to show a record of a scheduled COVID test or a previous test result upon re-entry into New Brunswick, the Department of Health says.
"At that point, failure to produce a negative test result or a record of a requested or scheduled test may result in an order to self-isolate for 14 days," spokesperson Bruce Macfarlane said in an email.
Macfarlane said truckers can access testing at any of the provincial assessment centres by going online or calling and requesting a test.
Until now, truck drivers weren't required to get tested coming into the province or to self-isolate, according to the exemptions provided to workers who regularly cross the border for essential reasons.
How the new rules will work
A Government of New Brunswick document obtained by CBC News outlining the new rules says the changes apply to New Brunswick resident commercial truck drivers who are long-haul drivers who drive outside of Atlantic Canada, but whose travel either begins or ends in New Brunswick.
The rule also applies to day trip drivers whose daily trip begins and ends in New Brunswick, but takes them outside of Atlantic Canada and into Quebec and Maine.
It says drivers will have to be tested either weekly or during their time in New Brunswick after entering the province following a long-haul trip lasting longer than a week.
The document says pharmacies along New Brunswick's borders and at other locations will begin offering testing for COVID-19 in the coming weeks.
The document also says truck drivers will be given access to rapid COVID-19 screening tests within the coming weeks, which will provide results within 15 to 20 minutes.
If the driver tests positive, they'll be sent home to self-isolate and await a call from the regional medical officer of health, who will direct them to the closest assessment centre for a standard PCR diagnostic test, the document says.
The test will be administered and the results will be sent to the driver within 24 hours using MyHealthNB, according to the document.
Jean-Marc Picard, executive director of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association, said in an interview the new rule will be "a huge burden for the industry."
"It's just a real undertaking for industry as a whole. There are thousands of drivers."
N.B. company participates in airport quick-results test program
A rapid COVID-19 test made by Fredericton-based LuminUltra will be used in a new PCR and antigen testing research program at Toronto's Pearson International Airport.
The program, announced Wednesday by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, will explore the efficacy of antigen testing versus the PCR test in a commercial environment, as well as the use of rapid PCR testing in an airport environment, the airport authority said.
The 10-week study will make free COVID-19 tests available to employees, as well to eligible passengers on select routes who are willing to volunteer as participants.
The study will begin accepting volunteers on March 1.
"Clinical analysis of test swabs will take place on-site at the airport, using LuminUltra's rapid PCR test, with results provided to the participant within two hours," the authority said in a news release.
Participants will also be tested using Response Biomedical rapid antigen tests.
Updated vaccine totals
Here are the latest vaccine totals, according to the Public Health COVID-19 dashboard:
- 35,015 vaccine doses received.
- 26,317 doses administered.
- 8,698 doses held in reserve for second doses, planned clinics.
- 11,036 people fully vaccinated (with both of the two required doses).
List of COVID-19 symptoms
Public Health says New Brunswickers should get tested if they have any of these COVID-19 symptoms:
- New cough, or worsening chronic cough.
- Sore throat.
- Runny nose.
- New onset of fatigue.
- Loss of sense of taste.
- Loss of sense of smell.
- In children, purple markings on the fingers and toes.
People with two or more symptoms must self-isolate and take the self-assessment online or call 811 to get tested. People with only one symptom are not required to self-isolate but may ask to be tested.