New Brunswick

N.B. COVID-19 roundup: Province reports 9 new cases as Edmundston region enters lockdown

The Edmundston and Haut-Madawaska areas are under the province’s tightest public health restrictions. All non-essential businesses must close and schools will move to virtual learning. This is the second time this year that the region has been placed under lockdown. 

Edmundston hospital has 5 patients on ventilators

The rural community of Haut-Madawaska is part of the area under lockdown restrictions. (Bernard LeBel/Radio-Canada)

Latest

  • 148 active cases
  • Edmundston Hospital still overwhelmed
  • New possible public exposures
  • What to do if you have a symptom

Elections New Brunswick is suspending municipal elections in parts of the province's northwest after a lockdown began on Sunday.

Residents of the region are being urged to stay home amid rising cases of COVID-19 variants.

The Edmundston and Haut-Madawaska areas were placed under the province's tightest public health measures last night. All non-essential businesses must close and schools will move to virtual learning.

This is the second time this year that the region has been placed under lockdown. 

Edmundston interim mayor Eric Marquis said the restrictions are necessary.

"It's extremely difficult," he said. "And we know there's the possibility of seeing more people die in the coming days and weeks."

Elections, planned for May 10, are suspended in the area until the lockdown ends. Legislation was recently passed to allow the municipal electoral officer to suspend nominations and voting in a particular zone.

Municipalities where elections are suspended include Edmundston, Haut-Madawaska, Lac Baker, Rivière-Verte, Sainte-Anne-de-Madawaska and Saint Léonard. Some district education council and health authority board elections will also be delayed.

Elections NB said the suspension will delay results for the entire province, since electors have the right to vote at another returning office if away from their regular voting place. 

Kim Poffenroth, the province's municipal electoral officer, said eligible voters in impacted areas will not receive voter information cards until "we are advised the lockdown has been lifted and that we are able to ensure we can rebook polling locations and provide the necessary training to poll workers."

Lockdown restrictions

The Edmundston area reported two deaths last week and confirmed 16 cases of community transmission of the variant first reported in the UK. Schools and a childcare centre have also recently reported cases.

New Brunswick is reporting nine new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday.

There are five new cases in the Edmundston and Grand Falls region, two in the Saint John region, one in the Moncton region and one in the Fredericton region.

There are 115 active cases in Zone 4.

Under the lockdown, residents must continue to maintain a single-household bubble and non-essential travel in and out of the area is not permitted.

Edmundston interim mayor Eric Marquis wants the province to ramp up the vaccine rollout for his region. (Gary Moore/CBC News)

Saint-Léonard, Grand Falls, Drummond, New Denmark and Four Falls will remain under the Red level. The Saint-Quentin and Kedgwick regions will remain in the yellow level.

Public Health also announced plans to reverse a controversial decision to send students across the province back to high school full-time on Monday. 

Health Minister Dorothy Shephard attributed the change to rising concerns about COVID-19 variants.

The Saint John and Moncton regions were identified as areas Public Health will continue to watch closely.

148 active cases

New Brunswick has 148 active cases of COVID-19, largely concentrated in the northwest.

The new cases break down as follows:

In the Edmundston and Grand Falls region (Zone 4), there are five new cases. Four are contacts of previous cases and one is under investigation:

  • A person 19 and under.
  • A person in their 20s.
  • A person in their 30s.
  • A person in their 40s.
  • A person in their 50s.

The Saint John region (Zone 2) is reporting two cases, both under investigation:

  • A person in their 40s.
  • A person in their 50s.

In the Moncton region (Zone 1), there is one new case, linked to a previous case:

  • A person in their 20s.

In the Fredericton region (Zone 3), there is one new case, considered travel-related:

  • A person in their 30s.

New Brunswick has confirmed 1,722 total cases since the pandemic began, including 1,540 recoveries. There have been 33 deaths.

Public Health conducted 738 tests on Saturday, for a total of 267,359.

Hospital still overwhelmed

Facing an influx of COVID-19 patients, the Edmundston Regional Hospital continues to be overwhelmed. New admissions are now being directed to other regions after the facility reached its maximum capacity last week.

Most of the patients are infected with the variant first reported in the U.K., with some as young as 25. Last week, a 38-year-old Saint-Basile man became the youngest in the province to die from COVID-19.

New Brunswick reported 20 people in the hospital on Saturday, including 13 in intensive care units. Most of those patients are located at the Edmundston hospital.

The Vitalité Health Network said 13 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19, as of Sunday. There are seven people in the ICU, including five on ventilators.

Five patients with COVID-19 are on ventilators at the Edmundston Regional Hospital. (Radio-Canada)

Six patients are in a designated COVID-19 unit for low-to-moderate-care needs, and two patients with the virus have been transferred to the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital in Fredericton.

Public Health said additional doses of the vaccine would be prioritized for the northwest, which has been hardest hit by the pandemic. 

But the region is calling on the province to quickly ramp up rollout efforts. Marquis said he wants residents of all ages to be able to access it.

"The city of Edmundston is ready to offer any type of setup to allow for mass vaccination, similar to what we did for mass testing a few weeks ago inside one of of our local arenas," he said.

New possible public exposures

Public Health announced new possible exposures to COVID-19 on Sunday:

In the Moncton area:

  • COSTCO Wholesale customer service, 140 Granite Dr., Moncton on Thursday, April 8 between 4:45 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
  • CF Champlain Food Court, 477 Paul St., Dieppe on Thursday, April 8 between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
  • YMCA Vaughan Harvey, 30 War Veterans Ave., Moncton, on Tuesday, April 6 between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
  • CF Champlain Shoppers Drug Mart cosmetic section, 477 Paul St., Dieppe on Tuesday, April 6 between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.
  • Moncton Wesleyan Church, 945 St. George Blvd., Moncton, Sunday, April 4 between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
  • Kelseys Original Roadhouse, 141 Trinity Dr., Moncton on Saturday, April 3 between 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
  • CF Champlain, 477 Paul St., Dieppe on Saturday, April 3 between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
  • CF Champlain, 477 Paul St., Dieppe on Thursday, April 1 between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.
  • Atlantic Superstore, 89 Trinity Dr., Moncton, on Friday, April 9 between 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.

In Edmundston:

  • March 20 to April 9, Atlantic Superstore (577 Victoria St., Edmundston)

 In Saint John:

  • GAP Factory East Point, 15 Fashion Dr., Saint John, on Friday, April 9 between 2:10 p.m. and 2:40 p.m.
  • April 9 between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. – McAllister Place, 519 Westmorland Rd., Saint John
  • April 8 between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m., – McAllister Place, 519 Westmorland Rd., Saint John
  • April 8 between 1:15 p.m. and 2 p.m. – Service New Brunswick, 15 King Square North, Saint John
  • April 1 between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. – YMCA of Greater Saint John (191 Churchill Blvd., Saint John)

A full list of exposure locations can be found on the provincial government's website.

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:

  • Fever above 38 C.

  • New cough or worsening chronic cough.

  • Sore throat.

  • Runny nose.

  • Headache.

  • New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell.

  • Difficulty breathing.

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.

  • Follow instructions.

With files from Radio-Canada

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?

now