N.B. COVID-19 roundup: 6 new cases, Miramichi mass testing continues
All regions expected to move to yellow-phase restrictions Sunday night
- Mass testing available in Miramichi today
- 35 active cases
- Yellow level approaching for entire province
- Possible exposure at Miramichi school
- Public exposure notifications
- What to do if you have a symptom
New Brunswick is reporting six new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday as the entire province prepares to return to the less-restrictive yellow phase at the end of the weekend.
There are now 35 active cases. Three people are in the hospital, including two in intensive care.
The low numbers come as health officials continue to keep a close eye on Zone 7, with mass COVID-19 testing underway in Miramichi on Saturday.
The region has seen rising case numbers and confirmation of a B117 case, the virus variant first reported in the U.K.
The Miramichi area currently has 12 active cases.
Hundreds of residents have turned out to a walk-in testing clinic over the past two days, with some waiting more than an hour in the cold. Public Health announced plans to extend testing on Saturday.
The clinic at Dr. Losier Middle School, 124 Henderson St. in Miramichi, is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Public Health had conducted more than 1,600 asymptomatic tests at the location as of Saturday's update.
35 active cases
The new cases are scattered across four regions of the province.
In the Saint John region (Zone 2), there are two new cases, both related to travel:
- a person in their 20s.
- a person in their 30s.
The Fredericton region (Zone 3) is reporting one new case, which is related to travel:
- a person in their 30s.
The Edmundston region (Zone 4) has one new case, which is under investigation:
- a person in their 20s.
The Miramichi region (Zone 7) is reporting two new cases, both linked to previous cases:
- Two people in their 50s.
Public Health said all six cases are self-isolating.
New Brunswick confirmed 1,453 total cases since the start of the pandemic, including 1,389 recoveries. There have been 28 deaths.
Public Health has conducted 233,878, including 1,642 on Saturday.
Approaching yellow phase
Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health, said all regions will be moving back to the less-restrictive yellow recovery phase, effective Sunday at 11:59 p.m.
Russell said she'll be monitoring the situation in Zone 7.
"If there is a significant change over the weekend, we will revisit the decision," she said at a news conference on Friday. "We have a lot of tests that we're waiting for results of, but as of now, the Miramichi region will move to the yellow phase along with the rest of the province."
The yellow phase will look a little different, with some changes including limits on close contacts. The full details on the updated level can be found on the provincial government's website.
Here's some of the changes under yellow:
Households can expand close contacts to a consistent 15 people. This group may visit places together, including dining at restaurants.
Masks will still have to be worn in indoor spaces but will not be needed outdoors.
Formal and informal outdoor gatherings of 50 people or fewer will be allowed with physical distancing.
Formal indoor gatherings will be allowed with an operational plan, at 50 per cent capacity or less.
Sports teams will be allowed to play within their leagues across zones, while following their operational plans.
Mask-wearing in schools will depend on the school's operational plan.
Public Transit can operate at full capacity with use of masks.
Possible exposure at Miramichi school
A Miramichi school is reporting a possible exposure to COVID-19.
Greta Green Elementary School has notified community members. Close contacts will be reached by Public Health.
The school was closed this week for March break.
Public exposure notifications
Public Health has identified a positive case in a traveller who may have been infectious while on the following flight:
- Air Canada Flight 8906 on Feb. 20, from Montreal to Moncton, departed at 7:10 p.m.
This week, Public Health issued a list of potential public exposures in the Miramichi region, Zone 7. Individuals who tested positive were in these establishments. Public Health said it doesn't have the exact times these people were in the businesses on the list, "but it is believed it was for a short duration on these dates."
- Sobeys on Feb. 14, Feb. 19, Feb. 24 and Feb. 25 (273 Pleasant St., Miramichi).
- Atlantic Superstore on Feb. 14, Feb. 23 and Feb. 28 (408 King George Hwy., Miramichi).
- Shoppers Drug Mart on Feb. 14, Feb. 17 and Feb. 26 (397 King George Hwy., Miramichi).
- Dollarama on Feb. 20 (100 Douglastown Blvd., Miramichi).
- Winners on Feb. 22 and Feb. 24 (2441 King George Hwy., Miramichi).
- Giant Tiger on Feb. 24 (2441 King George Hwy., Miramichi).
- Walmart on Feb. 24 (200 Douglastown Blvd., Miramichi).
- Bulk Barn on Feb. 27 (100-99 Douglastown Blvd., Miramichi).
- NB Liquor on Feb. 27 (221 Pleasant St., Miramichi).
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.
New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell.
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.