N.B. COVID-19 roundup: 4 new cases, Moncton, Fredericton areas return to yellow phase tonight
2 new cases in Zone 2 (Saint John), including another case of resident at long term care facility
The province announced another four new cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick on Sunday while announcing plans to move some zones back to the yellow recovery phase.
There are two new cases in Zone 2 (Saint John), including another case of a resident at the long term care facility Parkland Saint John. There is one new case in Zone 1 (Moncton) and Zone 4 (Edmundston).
Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health, announced during Sunday's press conference that the Moncton and Fredericton zones are scheduled to move back to the less-restrictive yellow phase at midnight.
"This was based on our risk assessments … and the declining case loads in both regions and high levels of public adherence to restrictions, which have been limiting the spread of COVID-19," said Russell.
There are now 82 active cases in the province, with two in hospital, one requiring intensive care.
There have been 534 cases of COVID-19 in the province overall, with 445 recoveries.
On Saturday, there were 568 tests conducted, bringing the total test number to 133,087.
Seven people have died in the province related to the virus.
Saint John remains hotspot
Zone 2 (Saint John), where the bulk of the province's COVID-19 cases are located, will have to stay in the orange phase.
"I know everybody is doing their part," said Russell.
"Right now though, in Zone 2, the number of active cases is still too high and the risk of transmission is too great to reduce the restriction in this area."
The Saint John region continues to be the COVID hotspot in the province with 44 cases, more than half of New Brunswick's total.
Hours before the announcement, a small anti-mask protest was held in Moncton.
Premier Blaine Higgs criticized the gathering, hinting at possible enforcement for future events.
"If we have to bring enforcement into play in this we will do that," said Higgs.
"If people are bent on breaking the rules or just trying to flaunt the rules they will endanger themselves and others and they are doing it willingly and irresponsibly."
Limited vaccines coming soon
Higgs also talked about a dry-run vaccine distribution program that could see doses of the vaccine come to the province in the not so distant future.
Still, Higgs tempered expectations about the vast majority of New Brunswickers getting the jab any time soon.
"We're aware of limited doses that will be available in December," said Higgs. "[We're] not really to a point where anyone is going to have any great vaccine rollout."
Don't bet on Atlantic bubble yet
A return to the Atlantic bubble appears to be distant, according to the premier.
Higgs said the province needs to focus on remaining, or returning to the yellow phase.
"We have to get that working well before we simply go back to the bubble," said Higgs.
He said he would be speaking with his Atlantic counterparts about a possible return of the bubble soon.
Prince Edward Island has already ruled out returning to the bubble until at least Dec. 21.
Potential public exposure warnings for Moncton
Public Health has warned of the following possible exposures to the virus in the Moncton area.
Flights into Moncton:
- Air Canada Flight 8372 on Nov. 28 from Fort McMurray to Calgary, departed 6:10 a.m
- Air Canada Flight 144 on Nov. 28 from Calgary to Toronto, departed at 11:15 a.m.
- Air Canada Flight 8918 on Nov. 28 from Toronto to Moncton, departed at 8:30 p.m.
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.