FREDERICTON (GNB) – Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, today announced New Brunswick’s first presumptive case of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.

“I want New Brunswickers to know that their health and well-being are Public Health’s top concern, said Russell.

Diagnostic testing was conducted at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre’s laboratory in Moncton which confirmed the case as presumptive. Additional testing to confirm the case as a positive COVID-19 case will take place at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.

The case is a female between 50 and 60 years old, in zone 1 (in the southern part of the province). The patient was screened, recent travel history from France was confirmed and the patient was treated, tested and is in self-isolation.

“Public Health officials will be immediately reaching out to all individuals who may have been in contact with this person, assessing their health, and instructing them to stay at home for 14 days after their last contact with this person,” said Russell. “Any close contact who has symptoms will be tested.”

Regular handwashing, coughing or sneezing into your elbow sleeve, disposing of tissues appropriately, avoiding contact with sick people and staying home when sick are important ways to prevent the spread of respiratory illness.

“It may seem odd that regularly washing hands and avoiding touching your face can protect you from a serious illness, but it works,” said Russell.

Public Health continues to be in constant contact with the Public Health Agency of Canada and with other jurisdictions to monitor the developing situation.

New Brunswickers are encouraged to visit a dedicated web page about COVID-19 novel coronavirus to learn how they can protect themselves and what to do if they suspect they may be at risk. The web page will be continuously updated.