New Brunswick

Man forced to quarantine at N.B. hotel nervous, angry after news of COVID cases on site

A guest at one of New Brunswick's designated quarantine hotels says he's worried for his health after being told there were COVID-19 cases at the hotel during the time he and his husband have been staying there with their two dogs.

Brian Nilson and partner were told Wednesday there are cases of COVID-19 at the Delta Fredericton hotel

Brian Nilson, left, says he doesn't feel safe after learning there were COVID-19 cases at the hotel he's been required to self-isolate at with his husband, Alan Nilson, and their two dogs, as part of their move from Ontario to New Brunswick. (Submitted by Brian Nilson)

A man self-isolating at one of New Brunswick's designated quarantine hotels says he's worried for his health after finding out there have been confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the site where he's staying.

Brian Nilson has been isolating at the Delta Fredericton with his husband and their two dogs since last Thursday, as part of their move from Hamilton to a St. Stephen home they bought in February.

Nilson said on Wednesday morning a note from Horizon Health Network was slipped under their hotel room door, notifying them of confirmed cases at the hotel and a possible exposure between April 26 and May 2.

He questions why the government is requiring him and his partner to isolate at a hotel, where they could be potentially exposed to COVID-19, rather than at their own home, which they'd be sharing with no one else.

"I mean, this is a very dangerous environment they've put us in when they they knew damn well that we were going into our own bubble, our own space, our own four walls and and no one coming in or out," Nilson said.

"And we were going to be there under isolation."

As of April 25, the Government of New Brunswick required that all non-essential entrants to New Brunswick stay at a designated hotel for about $200 a day for at least seven days.

Guests are to be administered a COVID-19 test on the fifth day, and if it comes back negative, they can complete the rest of their isolation at home.

Nilson said he and his husband have been tested on Tuesday and Wednesday, and are now hoping to receive negative results so they can continue on to their home.

In a news release Wednesday, New Brunswick Public Health listed an exposure notice for the Delta, located on Woodstock Road, from April 26 to May 2.

In an email to CBC News, Bruce Macfarlane, a spokesperson for the Department of Health, said an outbreak has not been declared at the Delta, but 170 guests and staff were tested today to "assess the situation."

A letter from Horizon Health Network that was slipped under Brian Nilson's hotel room door says there were COVID-19 cases at the Delta Fredericton. (Submitted by Brian Nilson)

Macfarlane said the Canadian Red Cross continues to co-ordinate services on-site for clients and with the hotel.

Horizon, in the note, said it was working with the Delta to arrange on-site testing on Wednesday for guests at the hotel.

"While testing is not mandatory, due to the increased risk of transmission, it is strongly encouraged," the note says.

A cold welcome to N.B.

Nilson said he and his husband, Alan Nilson, only found out about the hotel quarantine requirement for non-essential arrivals days before their scheduled move to New Brunswick.

After spending hours on the phone unsuccessfully trying to get answers about the new rule, they decided to make the trip anyway, and were stopped at the Quebec-New Brunswick border, where peace officers told them they needed to book a stay at an isolation hotel to proceed, which they did. The couple finally arrived in Fredericton at 3 a.m. AT last Thursday.

Since checking in, Nilson said it hasn't been a warm experience.

As a diabetic, Nilson said his anxiety has been heightened due to his increased vulnerability to COVID-19. However, he said he's also been offered no help with getting access to insulin, which he's set to run out of in two days.

He said walking the dogs has also been a hassle, adding he and his husband have been harshly reprimanded by hotel and security staff for either using the wrong doors to exit the building, or choosing the wrong lawn to let their dogs relieve themselves.

"This is our introduction [to New Brunswick], and we're thinking [moving here] is the biggest mistake of our lives," Nilson said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Aidan Cox

Web reporter/editor

Aidan Cox is a web writer for the CBC based in Fredericton. He can be reached at aidan.cox@cbc.ca and followed on Twitter @Aidan4jrn.

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