New Brunswick

N.B. COVID-19 roundup: 5 new cases reported, first vaccinations given

New Brunswick began COVID-19 vaccinations on Saturday. An 84-year-old Miramichi resident received the first shot.

Pauline Gauvin, an 84-year-old Miramichi resident, was first New Brunswicker to get the vaccine

The first New Brunswickers received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday. (Ed Hunter/CBC file photo)

Public Health is reporting five new cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick on Saturday.

The new cases are located in four different health zones in the province.

They are an individual in their 70s in the Moncton region (Zone 1), an individual in their 30s and another in their 60s in the Saint John region (Zone 2), an individual in their 40s in the Edmundston region (Zone 4), and an individual in their 20s in the Bathurst region (Zone 6).

Even with the five new cases, the province's active case count has fallen to 49.

There have been a total of 578 cases in the province during the pandemic with 520 recoveries and eight deaths.
Three people are hospitalized because of COVID-19 with one person in intensive care.

The province conducted 865 COVID-19 tests on Friday for a testing total of 145,419.

First vaccinations given in Miramichi

The beginning of the end of the COVID-19 pandemic may be here as vaccinations begin in New Brunswick.

Starting Saturday, 1,950 New Brunswickers will receive doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Pauline Gauvin, an 84-year-old Miramichi resident, was the first New Brunswicker to get the vaccine.

The province says that more doses are coming next week with regular deliveries starting in the new year.

But it will be a while before most New Brunswickers can get a shot.

The first vaccine will be reserved for people in priority groups including long-term care staff and residents, health-care workers and people over the age of 85.

COVID Christmas

It's less than a week before Christmas and many New Brunswickers will be looking to hold safe holiday celebrations.

Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health, said while gatherings are allowed in much of the province, keeping them small is key.

"We know that gatherings are a risk and we want those risks to be kept to a minimum," said Russell.

Most of the province is under yellow-level restrictions, although that's not guaranteed to still be the case on Christmas Day.

The Edmundston region is still in the orange phase, which means tighter restrictions on gatherings and travel.

Russell said a Christmas under yellow restrictions may still be possible for the zone, but the window of opportunity is rapidly closing.

Small protest at premier's

About a dozen people protested COVID-19 restrictions in front of Premier Blaine Higgs' Quispamsis home Saturday afternoon according to Kennebecasis Regional Police.

"We were notified from the organizers of the protest in advance that they were planning on attending," said Sgt. Colin Flynn. 

"It was small in numbers. They were peaceful. No issues arised from it."

Flynn said no COVID-19 violations were observed and no tickets were issued.

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.

  • 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.

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