New Brunswick

N.B. COVID-19 roundup: 118 new cases across province; 1 death in Saint John region

N.B. COVID-19 roundup:

Cases are rising in New Brunswick as new restrictions are in effect

The province declared 118 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and one death in the Saint John region. (NIAID Integrated Research Facility/Reuters)

New Brunswick reported 118 new cases of COVID-19 and one death in Sunday's update.

A person between the ages of 80 to 89 died in the Saint John region, the province said in a media release. It is the province's 133rd death related to COVID-19.

New Brunswick has 752 total active cases.

New restrictions are in place under the province's winter action plan.

The measures under Level 1 began at 11:59 p.m. Saturday.

They include masking outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained and physical distancing in indoor public spaces that do not require proof of vaccination. Limits are also being placed on how many people can attend indoor and outdoor gatherings.

Malls and retail businesses, including grocery stores, salons and spas are also now required to enforce physical distancing. As an alternative, they can ask for proof of vaccination, the province said Friday.

Even though grocery stores are generally considered essential, they do have the option to bring in a proof-of-vaccination mandate. 

However, the province said "based on discussions, we expect that most retail stores, including those that sell essential goods and services, will choose to ensure two-metres distancing within their stores rather than expect proof of vaccination."

"Retailers may also choose to offer their patrons curbside or delivery options — services many have offered since early on in the pandemic," a spokesperson for the Health Department said.

There have been 87 recoveries since the last update by Public Health.

Forty-six people are in hospital, including 16 in intensive care. 

Twenty-two people currently in hospital are over the age of 60 and one is under 19. Nine people are also on a ventilator. 

"Fourteen of the 46 people hospitalized were initially admitted for other reasons and contracted COVID-19 due to outbreaks at hospitals in Moncton, Saint John and Miramichi," Public Health said Sunday.

"Most of those people infected are currently exhibiting mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19."

As of Sunday, 55 New Brunswick travellers returning from the 10 countries affected by restrictions due to the omicron variant are in isolation to reduce possible spread of the virus, unchanged since the last update on Friday.

The province has not named the countries involved.

Breakdown of new cases

The new cases were reported across all seven regions of the province, with the largest number reported in the Fredericton region.

The breakdown of the new cases includes:

Moncton region, Zone 1 — 23 cases: 

  • 10 people 19 and under.
  • Six people 30-39.
  • Two people 40-49.
  • Two people 50-59.
  • Three people 60-69.

Sixteen are under investigation and seven are the contacts of previously confirmed cases.

Saint John region, Zone 2 — 18 cases:

  • Five people 19 and under.
  • Two people 20-29.
  • Two people 30-39.
  • One person 40-49.
  • Two people 50-59.
  • Four people 60-69.
  • Two people 70-79.

Eight are under investigation and 10 are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

    Fredericton region, Zone 3 — 53 cases:

    • 24 people 19 and under.
    • Four people 20-29.
    • Four people 30-39.
    • five people 40-49.
    • Nine people 50-59.
    • Five people 60-69.
    • Two people 70-79.

    Forty-five are under investigation and eight are the contacts of previously confirmed cases.

    Edmundston region, Zone 4 — four cases: 

    • One person 19 and under.
    • One person 30-39.
    • One person 40-49.
    • One person 60-69.

    One case is under investigation and three are the contacts of previously confirmed cases.

    Campbellton region, Zone 5 — four cases:

    • Three people 19 and under.
    • One person 60-69.

    One case is under investigation and three are the contacts of previously confirmed cases.

    Bathurst region, Zone 6 — one case:

    • a person 50-59.

    They are the contact of a previously confirmed case.

      Miramichi region, Zone 7 — 14 cases: 

      • Five people 19 and under.
      • One person 20-29.
      • Three people 40-49.
      • Two people 50-59.
      • Two people 60-69.
      • One person 70-79.
      • One person 80-89.

      Six are under investigation and nine are the contacts of previously confirmed cases.

      New Brunswick has had 8,798 confirmed cases of COVID-19 throughout the pandemic and 7,912 recoveries. 

      A total of 567,192 tests have been carried out to date, including 862 on Saturday.

      As of Sunday, 82 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, up from 81.9 per cent, and 87.3 per cent had received their first dose, up from 87.1 per cent.

      The province will expand the availability of booster doses next week to include people in their 50s, Dr. Jennifer Russell said at a COVID-19 update on Friday. 

      In coming weeks eligibility will be expanded to people in their 40s, with other New Brunswickers following after, she said.

      Cases declared at 3 schools

      Cases have been declared at three Fredericton elementary schools Saturday evening, the Anglophone West School District said in letters to parents. 

      They include Gibson-Neill Memorial, Priestman Street and Park Street Elementary, the school district said.

      "Anyone identified as a close contact will receive a letter from Public Health with specific instructions on what to do next. Your school principal will send this letter along with instructions on picking up rapid tests," the school district wrote. 

      Students will be studying remotely at Gibson-Neill Memorial and Priestman Street until Tuesday, the school district said. Rapid testing kits will also be available for pick up on those days for families who need them, regardless of whether a family member has been identified as a close contact. 

      Students will still be able to return to class on Monday at Park Street Elementary, they said.

      Public exposure notices

      The province listed several exposure notices on Saturday in the Moncton and Fredericton regions.

      They include:

      Moncton region, Zone 1

      • Nov. 30 between 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. – Shoppers Drug Mart (45 Vaughn Harvey Blvd., Moncton)

      Fredericton region, Zone 3

      • Nov. 30 between 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. – Family Worship Centre (123 Main St., Plaster Rock)
      • Nov. 28 between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. – Picaroons Roundhouse (912 Union St., Fredericton)
      • Nov. 27 between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. – Regent Mall food court (1381 Regent St., Fredericton)
      • Nov. 27 between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. – Santa Claus Parade (Downtown Fredericton)
      • Nov. 27 between 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. – Lunar Rogue (625 King St., Fredericton)

      For the full list of public exposure notices, visit the provincial government's website.

      People who have not been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to a possible exposure and who have symptoms should get a COVID lab test. They can book an appointment online or call Tele-Care 811 and must isolate while waiting for their test result.

      People who are not fully vaccinated and do not have symptoms are now being instructed to pick up an At-Home COVID-19 Rapid Point of Care Test (Rapid POCT) screening kit. They do not need to isolate if they have not been directed by Public Health to do so.

      All positive point-of-care test results must be confirmed with a laboratory polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, test.

      It can take up to 14 days to test positive after being exposed to COVID-19, so even if results come back negative, people should continue to self-monitor for any symptoms and get tested immediately if any develop.

      They should also avoid visiting settings with vulnerable populations, such as nursing homes, correctional facilities and shelters during that 14-day period.

      For people who have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to a possible exposure, Public Health recommends they monitor for symptoms for 14 days after the possible exposure and get a COVID lab test if symptoms develop.

      They do not need to isolate while they wait for their test results.

      If they do not have symptoms, they can pick up a rapid test kit and do not need to isolate.

      What to do if you have a symptom

      People concerned they might have COVID-19 can take a self-assessment test online.

      Public Health says symptoms of the illness have included a fever above 38 C, a new or worsening cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, a new onset of fatigue and 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 811 or their doctor and follow instructions.