New Brunswick

N.B. COVID-19 roundup: 3 more deaths, hospitals near or beyond capacity

Four hospitals in the Horizon Health Network are nearing or beyond full capacity, with COVID-19 outbreaks being reported in six hospitals.

Province says booster shots passed the 100,000-mark in 2 weeks

There are 138 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in New Brunswick on Tuesday, Public Health reported. (Kayle Neis/The Canadian Press)

Latest

  • Hospitals near or beyond capacity
  • Outbreaks in multiple units at 6 hospitals
  • Woodstock court relocated
  • 482 health-care workers isolating
  • 138 in hospital
  • Hospitalizations rising, but more slowly than projected

Four hospitals in the Horizon Health Network are nearing or beyond full capacity, with COVID-19 outbreaks being reported in six hospitals.

In a status report on Tuesday, the health authority said the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital in Fredericton is at 101 per cent capacity. 

The Moncton Hospital is at 96 per cent capacity, and the Saint John and Miramichi regional hospitals are at 93 per cent capacity, with 100 per cent capacity reported in the Miramichi hospital's intensive care.

It reported outbreaks in multiple units at six hospitals, including:

  • Saint John Regional Hospital, outbreaks in nine units
  • The Moncton Hospital, outbreaks in six units
  • Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional  Hospital, outbreaks in two units
  • St. Joseph's Hospital, outbreaks in two units
  • Ridgewood Veterans Wing, outbreaks in two units
  • Oromocto Public Hospital, outbreak in one unit
Horizon Health Network released the latest statistics on outbreaks at its hospitals, with Saint John Regional Hospital reporting outbreaks in nine units. (Wikipedia)

Woodstock court temporarily relocated

In-person appearances before the Court of Queen's Bench in Woodstock have been temporarily relocated to meet COVID-19 physical distancing requirements.

The temporary location at 307 Connell Rd., Unit 1, allows for more physical distancing than the existing courtroom and can safely accommodate court participants whose vaccination status is unknown, the Justice and Public Safety Department said in a news release on Tuesday.

Most matters of the Court of Queen's Bench can be accommodated at the temporary location, except for jury trials. The Woodstock courthouse will continue to receive documents for filing, the department said.

It noted that the Connell Road location will be rented until distancing requirements are no longer necessary.

3 more deaths, hospitalizations climbing

Another three New Brunswickers who had COVID-19 have died, bringing the province's COVID-related death toll to 215.

They include two people in the Bathurst region, Zone 6, one in their 80s and another age 90 or over, and a person in their 70s in the Miramichi region, Zone 7, Public Health said in a news release Tuesday.

There are 138 people in hospital as of Tuesday, and hospitalization numbers are climbing, although not as steeply as expected, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jennifer Russell said in the release.

"While hospitalizations continue to rise, they are trending below our original projections," Russell said.

Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, said the rate of hospitalization due to COVID-19 is climbing, but not as steeply as initially projected. (Ed Hunter/CBC)

She also noted that the data indicates that New Brunswickers have reduced their contacts by about 30 per cent, which she said has significantly eased the strain on the health-care system.

There are 11 people in intensive care and another 127 in hospital as of Tuesday, for a total of 138 people hospitalized with COVID-19.

Eighty-two of those currently hospitalized were admitted for reasons other than COVID-19.

Of those in hospital, 106 are 60 or over, and three people are on a ventilator. Four people 19 or under are hospitalized. 

There are currently 482 health-care workers who have tested positive for the virus and are isolating.

The rate of people hospitalized and in ICU continues to most greatly impact people who are unvaccinated and partially vaccinated. Information about the rates of cases and hospitalizations based on vaccination status is available on the COVID-19 dashboard.

Booster shots pass 100,000 mark in two weeks

More than 101,000 booster doses have been administered at regional health authority and pharmacy vaccination clinics over a two-week period, Public Health said Tuesday.

To date, 39.4 per cent of those eligible have received their booster dose, while 91.8 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers have received their first dose and 83.9 per cent have received their second dose.

"We still need everyone who is eligible for a booster to get one, as being fully protected through vaccine is our most effective way to protect the health system," Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, said in a news release.

Booster doses are available to everyone 18 and older, as long as five months have passed since their second dose. Evening and weekend appointments have been added in certain areas of the province.

There have been 52 cases of COVID-19 at Grand Manan Nursing Home, and several cases on the ferry that services the island, in recent weeks. (CBC)

Island managing first outbreak of the pandemic

The director of the Grand Manan Nursing Home says residents affected by a COVID-19 outbreak there, the first on the island since the pandemic began, are doing "amazingly well."

Since Jan. 12, the nursing home has seen a total of 52 cases, but no one has had severe symptoms, director Heather Bass said.

"Folks have experienced mostly very strong cold symptoms, a few with headaches, sore throats, that sort of thing. Nothing we can't manage here," despite the fact that 28 of 65 staff members have been infected.

Bass said the isolation and protective equipment protocols have been hard on everyone, especially residents who have dementia or are hearing impaired, but some staff are now back to work and some residents are now allowed out of their rooms again.

That can happen after symptoms subside and 10 days have passed, she said.

"It's giving everyone a bit of hope. We're looking at the light at the end of the tunnel."

Everyone could be out of isolation by Monday, Bass said.

Bass said the nursing home has received support from the Department of Social Development to ensure it has enough personal protective equipment, noting "delivery can be a bit of an issue at times." 

The island's ferry service provider, Coastal Transport, has had a couple of isolated cases, Grand Manan Mayor Bonnie Morse said, "but so far, things are going along."

The ferry company has worked out contingency plans to ensure the flow of people and goods to and from the island, she said.

Case numbers specific to Grand Manan's first outbreak of the pandemic have not been released, but Morse said anecdotally that there seems to be "a fair number of cases." 

COVID has run through many households, she said, but, as at the nursing home, most of them have been mild.

With files from Information Morning Saint John

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