New Brunswick

Author of N.B. COVID-19 projection says reasons to be optimistic, but we're not out of the woods yet

While new projections show New Brunswick is doing remarkably well in terms of COVID-19 numbers, projection authors are warning that it’s far too soon to go back to normal.

The best-case projected scenario trajectory projects province would see a total of 132 cases by April 23

The best-case projected scenario trajectory, South Korea, projects that New Brunswick would see a total of 132 cases of COVID-19 by April 23, with a mortality rate between 4 and 12. (NIAID-RML/AP/The Canadian Press)

While new projections show New Brunswick is doing remarkably well in terms of COVID-19 numbers, projection authors are warning that it's far too soon to go back to normal.

The New Brunswick Institute for Research, Data and Training released their second projections for COVID-19 in the province.

The projections show the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths New Brunswick would have if they followed the trajectories of several jurisdictions worldwide.

The best-case projected scenario trajectory, South Korea, projects that New Brunswick would see a total of 132 cases of COVID-19 by April 23, with a mortality rate between 4 and 12.

As of April 19, the province has 118 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and no fatalities.

The report said the province's "case levels will remain relatively low and within the health system's capacity to provide necessary treatment to those who need it."

Physical distancing working, says author

Still, Ted McDonald, one of the authors of the report, said it's too early to say the province is out of the woods.

"All of those excellent results are because of the measures and because of the compliance of New Brunswickers with those measures," said McDonald.

"What you can't take away from that is that the problem is solved and we can just go back to normal."

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McDonald attributes the relatively low numbers of cases in the province to a mixture of physical distancing measures and the province's more rural nature.

"It's clear that this really has succeeded at controlling the spread and the level of community transmission," said McDonald. 

"We're looking at one or two cases a day [it] really is a really good outcome."

Not 'out of the woods yet'

The report does show some worse case scenarios, but there is still some good news in that.

The report cites the province as having 194 emergency care beds available to treat COVID-19, and only at the worst-case scenario, Germany's trajectory, would that not be enough with 205 beds needed.

That trajectory would also see upwards of 1141 cases and 103 deaths.

McDonald said while the report is good news, New Brunswickers shouldn't become complacent.

"We've got reason to be optimistic," said McDonald.

"But this is not the time just to say 'OK we've won, let's go back to normal and forget everything that we've already been through' because we're not out of the woods yet."

McDonald said the institute plans to release more projections as the COVID-19 situation develops.

About the Author

Jordan Gill

Reporter

Jordan Gill is a CBC reporter based out of Fredericton. He can be reached at jordan.gill@cbc.ca.

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