New Brunswick

N.B. COVID-19 roundup: P.E.I woman who landed at Moncton airport tests positive

No new cases of COVID-19 were reported in New Brunswick on Sunday, but a P.E.I woman who landed at the Greater Moncton Roméo LeBlanc International Airport earlier this month has tested positive for the virus.

Residents travelling to N.S. or P.E.I ordered to self-isolate

P.E.I.'s chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison, said the woman landed at the Greater Moncton Roméo LeBlanc International Airport, and drive home to the island. (Rick Gibbs/CBC)

No new cases of COVID-19 were reported in New Brunswick on Sunday, but a P.E.I woman who landed at the Greater Moncton Roméo LeBlanc International Airport earlier this month has tested positive for the virus.

Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I's chief public health officer, confirmed a third case of COVID-19 on the Island during a news briefing Sunday. 

A woman in her 20s flew from Toronto to Moncton on March 16. It was the WestJet 3456 flight, which departed from Toronto at 8:35 a.m. and arrived in Moncton at 12:05 p.m.

All people who were on that flight have been asked to self-isolate for two weeks.

The woman who tested positive had flown to Toronto from Spain.

In a news release, the province said there are still 17 cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick, including eight confirmed cases and nine presumptive. (Office of the Premier)

Once she arrived at the Moncton airport, she travelled by vehicle to P.E.I.

Morrison said the woman has "very mild symptoms."

She had self-isolated in a Toronto hotel during her travels home, as opposed to staying with friends or family. She went directly into self-isolation upon returning to P.E.I., Morrison said.

17 cases in New Brunswick

In a news release, the Department of Health said there are still 17 cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick, including eight confirmed cases and nine presumptive. 

These figures are a clarification of two earlier statements by the department, on both Saturday and Sunday, that put the total number of confirmed cases at nine, and the probable cases at eight. The total number of cases, 17, remains unchanged. 

A total of 865 tests so far have come back negative for the virus.

In the same release, the government said everyone entering the province will be given a brochure explaining the measures, including business closures, that Premier Blaine Higgs announced last Thursday night when he declared a state of emergency because of the coronavirus.

The release did not indicate whether New Brunswick might follow in the steps of the Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia governments, which are now requiring people coming into their provinces to isolate themselves for 14 days.

Nova Scotia declared a state of emergency Sunday morning. Anyone who has travelled outside the province, including to neighbouring New Brunswick, will need to self-isolate for two weeks.

Exceptions will be made for people working in essential services, health care or law enforcement. Trucking is also considered an essential service.

Prince Edward Island made a similar announcement the day before. The Island will be screening anyone entering the province and will also be directing them to self-isolate for 14 days, chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison said.

Prince Edward Island will be screening anyone entering the province and will also be directing them to self-isolate for 14 days. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

P.E.I.will be setting up screening checkpoints, including the Confederation Bridge, which is shared with New Brunswick.

These measures have not been put in place in New Brunswick. But CBC News asked  Higgs Sunday if his government will follow suit. 

The New Brunswick government reminded the public Sunday that all non-essential travel between Canada and the United States is restricted until further notice.

Six new presumptive cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in New Brunswick, and two previous presumptive cases have now been confirmed. (Reuters)

"People who are returning to New Brunswick from international travel are required to self-isolate at home for 14 days. This means they must not make any stops, including at the grocery store or pharmacy," the release said. 

"They must go directly home and connect with a relative, friend or volunteer to help them with any required errands."

Here is a roundup of other developments.

Someone you know violating rules?

The government was expected to have a phone line and email set up Sunday for people to call "for advice on their concerns of how to help family members and neighbours comply with the state of emergency orders," according to Premier Blaine Higgs.

That phone line will now be available on Monday.

"In the meantime, concerned individuals can remind returning travellers of their responsibility to do their part to keep everyone safe by staying in their homes," the government said Sunday.

Higgs said the phone number and email would be available on the government website and shared through social media

If residents have workplace concerns, they can contact Worksafe NB at 1-800-999-9775. 

No briefing from premier today

Premier Blaine Higgs and Dr. Jennifer Russell, the chief medical officer of health, did not hold a news conference today to update the public on the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The next news conference will be Monday at 2:30 p.m. in Fredericton.

For the past week, Higgs and Russell have scheduled daily briefings about the coronavirus and the constantly changing situation in the province.

The briefings have also been an opportunity for the news media to ask a limited number of questions.

However, the premier did release an online video on Sunday afternoon, reminding people to stay home.

"Our lives have been disrupted and while we will get through this, I know that it's been difficult," he said. "As your government, we're making adjustments constantly to make sure you are kept healthy and safe."

2nd testing centre for Saint John

A second mobile COVID-19 testing centre has been set up in Saint John at the HOPE Wellness Centre on Loch Lomond Road. The new centre opened on the weekend. 

CBC has asked Horizon Health why a second location was needed in the city but hasn't received a response. 

The other location is at the North End Wellness Centre on Victoria Street. It was moved there from its original intended location at Saint John's Exhibition Park in east Saint John last week.

Dr. Jennifer Russell, has emphasized the importance of people taking care of themselves during this stressful time by eating healthy, exercising and getting enough sleep. (Photo: Mike Heenan/CBC)

At the time, Horizon Health vice-president Jean Daigle said the clinic's new location provided a more "central, accessible location to the most vulnerable segments of the city's population." 

COVID-19 testing centres are operating in cities and towns across the province.

Here are the locations:

  • Moncton at the Moncton City Hospital in the Professional Arts Building parking lot on Macbeath Avenue​​​​​​.

  • Miramichi at the Miramichi Health Centre (behind the Miramichi Medical Arts Centre) on King George Highway.

  • Fredericton at the former Daily Gleaner building on Prospect Street.

  • Plaster Rock at the Tobique Valley Community Health Centre on Main Street.

Vitalité Health Network has eight COVID-19 testing centres across the province. 

They are located at:

  • Grand Falls General Hospital.

  • Hôtel-Dieu Saint-Joseph de Saint-Quentin.

  • Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont UHC.

  • Stella-Maris-de-Kent Hopital.

  • Edmundston Regional Hospital.

  • Campbellton Regional Hospital.

  • Chaleur Regional Hospital.

  • Tracadie Hospital.

All screening is done by appointment only and only after a triage is done by calling Tele-Care 811 or by a family physician. 

Church at home 

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues, many churches across the province closed their doors to the public Sunday.  

Some have come up with creative ways to speak to their congregations, including using online services such as Zoom, YouTube and Facebook.

Churches like Smythe Street Church in Fredericton are streaming their services online.

Others, such as Corbett Avenue Wesleyan Church and Wilmot United Church in Fredericton, are offering taped versions of services. 

COVID-19 by the numbers

In Canada, there are now more than 1,200 confirmed cases, and at least 19 deaths, including four deaths announced at the same Quebec care home.

Worldwide, more than 307,000 people have now contracted the novel coronavirus and at least 12,944 have died, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. For most, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms.

But it can cause more severe illness in others, especially older adults and people with existing health conditions. Some 92,000 people have recovered, mostly in China, where the virus first struck late last year.

Italy on Sunday reported nearly 800 deaths in one day. The country has more than 50,000 cases and 4,825 deaths.

What to do if you have any symptoms?

Symptoms of coronavirus can include fever or cough. In this case, residents should:

  • Stay at home.
  • Immediately call Tele-Care 811.

  • Describe symptoms and travel history.

  • Follow instructions carefully.

Remember the self-assessment tool

A new link that offers a COVID-19 self-assessment tool has been added to the Department of Health's website.

The assessment tool has three parts with different coloured flags for the degree of symptoms: 

  • Red: Need help now
  • Yellow:  Need help soon
  • Green: You can do the care at home. 

Each category asks you to respond to a series of self-assessment questions and then act based on the answers. This will help New Brunswickers determine if they should call the 811 line. This will also help reduce the volume of calls.

About 5,500 people have already used the new online self-assessment tool launched Friday by the government, according to Russell.

This has helped reduce the number of calls to Tele-Care 811, which has allowed the health-care professionals to assist callers "more promptly,"medical officer Jennifer Russell said.

About the Author

Elizabeth Fraser

Reporter/Editor

Elizabeth Fraser is a reporter/editor with CBC New Brunswick based in Fredericton. She's originally from Manitoba. Story tip? elizabeth.fraser@cbc.ca

With files from Gail Harding, Nicola MacLeod

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