Information on how New Brunswick will achieve the new normal

 

  


 

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Current public health alert level

Last updated: February 19, 2021
   

All zones are currently in the Orange level.


During this time, Public Health measures and guidelines must still be followed.

Orange Level – Information on what this will mean for you.

Information for international and interprovincial travellers can be found here.

 

Masks are mandatory 

Masks are mandatory in most indoor places which include:

  • public spaces where the public and employees interact (retail businesses, malls, service centres, places of worship, restaurants and bars except while eating, etc.) and organized indoor gatherings in public spaces (e.g. weddings, funerals, etc.)
  • common areas like lobbies, elevators and hallways, and public shared spaces including those in private sector and government workspaces; and
  • public transportation.

Masks are required in outdoor public spaces when physical distancing of 2 metres cannot be maintained. 

Face masks are required when accessing goods though a drive-thru window. Masks are required for workers and any occupants of the vehicle who will be within 2 metres of the drive-thru window.

Continuous mask use is still required in seated venues with one metre physical distancing.

Previously existing mask policies continue to apply in hospitals, health care settings, public schools and early childhood learning facilities.

As approved by the Pandemic Task Force, children under two are exempt from wearing masks, as well as those with a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask.

About Community face mask

 

 


 

Public Health phases and triggers

The public health phases mean people can see and plan for the kinds of restrictions that may be required to be put in place to protect New Brunswickers from COVID-19. This includes limiting human contact, as well as travel and business operations.  Based on comprehensive risk assessments conducted by Public Health, region or provincial limitation can be set in place.

The alert levels tell us all what public health measures need to be taken. Until there is a vaccine, community public health measures should be followed to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

The phased plan will allow health experts to monitor and evaluate the impact of the lifting of restrictions. At any time, restrictions that have been lifted may quickly be reinstated to protect public health. Restrictions may be put in place based on provincial, regional or local circumstances such as unlinked community outbreaks or cases that cannot be traced.

Risk assessments are triggered if the following occurs:

a) Going back one alert level would be assessed when: One item in each of two of the three columns are met.

b) Going back to red alert level would be assessed when: One or more in each of the three columns are met; OR by the presence of more than one trigger in any given column, plus the addition of one more trigger from any other column.
  

Epidemiology

  • Doubling time of cases in less than six (6) days (not applicable if we still have low number of cases).
  • More than three (3) unlinked chains of community transmission in less than a six (6) day period.
  • Outbreaks in high vulnerability settings where there is risk of transmission to the community.

Public Health

  • 10% or more of all contacts cannot be reached by Public Health within 24 hours.
  • Public Health is not able to reach or actively monitor all identified close contacts within 48 hours.
  • Insufficient facilities for non-hospitalized COVID-19 infected people who cannot be safely cared for at home (i.e. vulnerable populations, group settings which do not allow for self-isolation).
  • Compliance with public health directives and recommendations are no longer being followed by the public (e.g. physical distancing, masking).

Health Care

  • Inability to scale up to 2x the number of ICU patients from current census (including staffing).
  • Health system can no longer screen and test the required number of symptomatic patients in a timely manner.
  • Less than a four (4) week supply of PPE for double the current case load.
  • Insufficient face masks to provide to all patients seeking care even if cases double.
  • More admissions than discharges for COVID-19 over three (3) consecutive days.
  • Do not have baseline capacity in general health services, including through expansion of telemedicine for Covid-19 and usual care.
  • Health-care facilities can no longer be structured to reduce possibility of exposure at triage and all other locations.
  • Increasing number of new health-care worker infections for six (6) consecutive days (affect workforce, and indicates poor infection prevention and control practices)

 


 


Red level

 

Strict controls to flatten the curve and contain the virus as quickly as possible. COVID-19 is no longer controlled in the province.

Available services are limited to those that are essential, with mandatory public health measures in place such as physical distancing, business closures and travel restrictions.

Risk Assessment:

  • There are three (3) unlinked chains of community transmission within 6 days.
  • Health-care system is overwhelmed.
  • Public health measures are no longer effective.
  • Outbreaks and new clusters can no longer be controlled through testing, tracing and self-isolation measures.

Subject to the Public Health and WorkSafeNB COVID-19 general guidance, the following activities are allowed:

  • Frequent hand washing, surface cleaning and physical distancing (2m)
  • A single household bubble includes the people you live with.  Where required, a single household bubble can be extended to include:
    • Caregiver(s)
    • A family member that needs support from someone within the household
    • One other person who needs support (for example, someone who lives alone, or another family member). 
  • Masks are mandatory in indoor public places. Masks are required in outdoor public spaces when physical distancing of 2 metres cannot be maintained. 
  • Driving with members of your single household bubble or caregiver is permitted and masks are not required.
  • Carpooling with others for work, school, medical appointments, or to access essential services such as groceries is permitted. When carpooling, continuous masking and maintaining physical distancing is required. If possible, only transport passengers outside your single household bubble in the back seat. Drivers must screen potential passengers for signs of illness, and drivers or passengers who are ill or who have been told to self-isolate by Public Health must stay home. Maximize ventilation in the vehicle, and do not recirculate the air. Clean and disinfect all surfaces that may have been touched by the passenger.
  • Face masks are required when accessing goods though a drive-thru window. Masks are required for workers and any occupants of the vehicle who will be within 2 metres of the drive-thru window.
  • Outdoor gatherings with physical distancing of 5 people or less. Physical distancing required in all other settings.
  • Necessary travel only is recommended in and out of Red level zones, however, people can continue to travel within the province for work, school, essential errands and medical appointments. 
  • Outdoor (drive-in) religious services only.
  • Non-urgent medical procedures and elective surgeries could be postponed
  • Strict visitor restrictions in health and long-term care facilities and similar vulnerable settings.
  • Primary care providers and regulated health professionals may operate utilizing virtual whenever possible.
  • Unregulated health professionals may operate under a COVID-19 operational plan, with enhanced public health measures such as active screening of patrons, closed waiting rooms and enhanced barriers.
  • Personal services such as barbers, hair stylists or spas are closed.  
  • Daycares remain open with appropriate guidance.
  • K to 12 schools remain open with enhanced health and safety measures including:
    • Students and staff stay home if they have even one symptom of COVID-19.
    • School staff are actively screened for COVID-19 when they report to work each day.
    • If a positive case of COVID-19 is confirmed at a school in the Red level, the school will be closed for a minimum of three days to allow for contact tracing. The school would also become a testing site for school staff.
  • Funerals limited to single-household bubble
  • Post-secondary education can continue to operate in-person for all practical programs but only virtually in areas where it is possible.
  • All food and beverage will be reduced to drive-thru, take-out and delivery.
  • Gym and fitness facilities are closed, including other similar close contact sport or recreational businesses or facilities.
  • Public spaces such as casinos, amusement centres, bingo halls, arcades, cinemas and large live performance venues are closed.
  • Public Transit can operate with 2m distancing between riders AND continuous use of a mask. Ensure space is available for individuals who require 2m distancing for medical reasons (e.g. immunocompromised and those that can’t wear mask).
  • All other businesses and public services, including retail, can operate under a COVID-19 operational plan.

Recovery Level Comparison (January 2021)

Red Phase Frequently Asked Questions

 


 


Orange level

 

Balancing the reopening of businesses and activities while preventing a resurgence of transmission. Significant risk that COVID-19 is no longer under control in the province.

Risk Assessment:

  • Travel-related cases and new chains of community transmission are accelerating.
  • Health-care system still able to manage but under pressure.
  • Compliance with public health measures decreasing.
  • Outbreaks can still be controlled through public health measures.

Subject to the Public Health and WorkSafeNB COVID-19 general guidance, the following activities are allowed:

  • Your household bubble is expanded to include 10 contacts (Steady 10) from outside your household. This is to allow people to see at least some family members and close friends. This includes up to 10 people who do not live in your home that your household agrees on. These groups may socialize together, including going to restaurants.  This will make contact tracing better when outbreaks happen and will also help slow the spread by keeping groups small. How Steady 10 Works.
  • Driving with members of your household or Steady 10 is permitted and masks are not required.
  • Carpooling with others for work, school, medical appointments, or to access essential services such as groceries is permitted. When carpooling, continuous masking and maintaining physical distancing is required. If possible, only transport passengers outside your single household bubble in the back seat. Drivers must screen potential passengers for signs of illness, and drivers or passengers who are ill or who have been told to self-isolate by Public Health must stay home. Maximize ventilation in the vehicle, and do not recirculate the air. Clean and disinfect all surfaces that may have been touched by the passenger.
  • Masks are mandatory in indoor public places. Masks are required in outdoor public spaces when physical distancing of 2 metres cannot be maintained. 
  • Face masks are required when accessing goods though a drive-thru window. Masks are required for workers and any occupants of the vehicle who will be within 2 metres of the drive-thru window.
  • Necessary travel only is recommended in and out of Orange level zones, however, people can continue to travel within the province for work, school, essential errands and medical appointments.
  • Formal outdoor gatherings with physical distancing of 50 people or fewer are permitted with an operational plan. Informal gatherings (inside or out) are permitted only with your household and members of your Steady 10. A gathering is informal if it is not hosted by a business or organization in compliance with a formal COVID-19 operational plan that meets all requirements of the Mandatory Order. 
  • Faith venues can operate under a COVID-19 operational plan. In-person services are limited to 50 participants, or fewer depending upon the size of the facility, with two metres of physical distancing. Continuous mask wearing is required. No singing is permitted. Other indoor religious observances, funerals, celebrations of life, marriage ceremonies, receptions and social gatherings of more than 25 people are prohibited.
  • Non-urgent medical procedures and elective surgeries are allowed.
  • Strict visitor restrictions are to be maintained in settings with vulnerable people.
  • Primary care providers and regulated health professionals may operate but are urged to use virtual appointments whenever possible.
  • Unregulated health professionals, barbers, hair stylists or spas may operate under a COVID-19 operational plan, with enhanced public health measures such as active screening of patrons, closed waiting rooms, and enhanced barriers.
  • Daycares and K-12 schools are open under strict guidance. Virtual teaching is to be used for at-risk populations. Day camps are allowed.
  • Post-secondary educational institutions may operate.
  • Outdoor recreational activities are allowed, including campgrounds, ATV or snowmobile trails.
  • Recreational and sport organizations may operate but are limited to practices and/or skills and drills within a single team.
  • Gym, fitness facilities, and yoga studios may operate under a COVID-19 operational plan with additional public health measures, including:
    • Two metres of physical distancing, with masks, in low-intensity fitness classes such as yoga, tai chi, and stretching; and three metres of physical distancing for high-intensity activities such as spin, aerobics and boot camp.
    • active screening and record keeping of patrons.
    • closed locker rooms/common areas.
  • Entertainment venues such as casinos, amusement centres, bingo halls, arcades, cinemas and large live performance facilities may operate under a COVID-19 operational plan. The occupancy limit is set at 50 or fewer, depending upon the size of the venue and the ability to ensure two metres of physical distancing, with continuous mask use and record keeping.
  • Public Transit can operate with 1m distancing between riders AND continuous use of a mask. Ensure space is available for individuals who require 2m distancing for medical reasons (e.g. immunocompromised and those that can’t wear mask).
  • Licensed premises such as a bar or restaurant must ensure all patrons are seated at all times, except to enter and exit the premises and to go to and from washrooms. Individuals are only permitted to dine with their household and members of their Steady 10.
  • All other businesses, including food, beverage and retail, may operate under a COVID-19 operational plan. Distancing of two metres is required where food and beverages are served. Record keeping for seated venues is a requirement.

Occupancy of any facility must be based on the ability to maintain physical distancing between people that are not members of their household and Steady 10.

Controlled venues at which seating is offered for the purposes of eating, drinking, socialization, celebration, ceremony or entertainment are required to maintain a record of the names and contact information of all persons who attend. The same applies to anyone who hosts, organizes or permits gatherings larger than 50. Keep information in a secure place and not in the public view. More information can be found in Collection of names and contact information under the Mandatory Order COVID-19.

This will enable Public Health to conduct targeted contact tracing in an expeditious manner should there be a COVID-19 case associated with the facility.

 


 


Yellow level


Guidelines in the yellow alert level are currently being revised to address the threat posed by new COVID-19 variants.

 


 


Green level

 

After herd immunity has been achieved as a result of widespread vaccinations to the public.

All conditions are lifted, with the exception of face masks (facial coverings) which remain recommended to wear in public when ill.  Evidence-based decision making for loosening or retaining measures will continue to inform all Public Health recommendations as the province cautiously transitions to the green level of recovery. In the meantime, all Public Health measures must stay in place including physical distancing and mask wearing.

    


 

The COVID-19 state of emergency and you

Government has taken measures to protect the health and wellbeing of New Brunswickers during the COVID-19 pandemic. That has led to a State of Emergency and an emergency order restricting many ordinary activities during these extraordinary times.

The Mandatory Order includes rules and conditions aimed at reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Everyone, including individuals, employers and businesses, must follow the order to ensure public health.

 


 

New Brunswick’s COVID-19 and economic recovery road map

Government has introduced COVID-19 Alert Levels to ensure the continued economic and social wellbeing for our province. Progress across all phases will be monitored closely to ensure the health and safety of citizens and to limit the resurgence of COVID-19 transmission within the province.

Throughout all the phases, as we progress towards a “new normal” for New Brunswick, it is critical that everyone adhere to public health measures and restrictions to help protect our communities and loved ones.

Alert levels and associated measures are determined by the Government of New Brunswick under the advice and guidance of the Chief Medical Officer of Health. These measures may be updated on regular basis based on new scientific knowledge or effectiveness of previous control measures in Canada or in other countries.     

Different regions of the province may be at different alert levels at a given time.

All businesses allowed to operate under any phase except GREEN are required to have a COVID-19 operational plan which aligns to public health and WorkSafeNB guidance to ensure they protect citizens, patrons and employees at all times.

 


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