FREDERICTON (GNB) – Public Health has confirmed that a person 70-79 in Zone 4 (Edmundston region) has died as a result of COVID-19. This brings the total number of COVID-19-related deaths in the province to 107.

“I was saddened to learn that another person has died due to COVID-19,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. “We are optimistic that our numbers will continue to improve, but to make that happen everyone must continue to follow the measures in place.”

“I want to send heartfelt condolences to those who are grieving the loss of their loved one,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “I encourage all New Brunswickers to do their part to put our province in a better position to fight this virus.”

Public Health reported 40 new cases of COVID-19 today and 81 recoveries. There are 689 active cases.

Of the new cases, 21 – or 52.5 per cent – are unvaccinated, five – or 12.5 per cent – are partially vaccinated, and 14 – or 35 per cent – are fully vaccinated.

Majority of cases in ICU remain unvaccinated

Of the 43 people hospitalized due to the virus, 22 are unvaccinated, two are partially vaccinated and 19 are fully vaccinated. There is currently no one 19 and under in the hospital. There are 13 people in an intensive care unit, 12 of whom are unvaccinated and one of whom is partially vaccinated.

Circuit breaker reminder

The circuit breaker that has been in effect in certain areas of the province since Friday, Oct. 8 has been extended for at least seven more days, until Public Health determines the situation is more stable.

These areas are Zone 1 (Moncton region) as far north as and including Sainte-Anne-de-Kent and including Havelock in Zone 2; the northern portion of Zone 3 from and including Deerville and Florenceville-Bristol, but excluding Hayesville and Parker Ridge; and all of Zone 4 (Edmundston region).

As well, Zone 5 (Campbellton region) entered a 14-day circuit breaker on Friday, Oct. 22, at 6 p.m. to address the high number of COVID-19 transmissions in that region.

More information about the circuit breaker rules, including a detailed list and map of affected communities, is available online. A new mandatory order came into effect yesterday at 6 p.m.

Halloween guidance

Public Health is recommending that residents who wish to trick-or-treat this Halloween in non-circuit breaker areas only travel with their single household plus 20 consistent contacts. In circuit breaker areas, travelling for trick-or-treating is limited to a single household and appropriate distancing, masking and existing restrictions on indoor gatherings must be followed.

People who are handing out treats should sanitize their hands between visitors, keep high-touch areas such as door handles and provide treats through touchless means. Trick-or-treaters should wash their hands before heading out and upon returning home.

More information is available online.

Update on school sports and extracurricular activities

Teams and extracurricular groups are permitted to travel within New Brunswick, including travel in and out of circuit breaker communities. Students under the age of 12 in circuit breaker communities will also be able to resume school sports and extracurricular activities, following the Healthy and Safe School guidelines. All these activities continue to be subject to guidance provided in the mandatory order.

Spectators are permitted to attend school-related events that are held outside of school facilities if they show proof of two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine and follow masking and physical distancing requirements.

Beginning Friday, Oct. 29, spectators will be permitted to attend sports and extracurricular activities within school buildings, provided they follow masking, physical distancing and any other operational requirements set out by schools or districts.  

All events will require the co-operation and support of families and community volunteers. Should not enough members of the community volunteer to help manage events, individual schools and school districts may choose to not allow spectators.

Vaccination update

Public Health reported today that 83.6 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 92.1 per cent have received their first dose of a vaccine.

If you have not yet had your first or second dose, you are asked to go to a walk-in clinic or book an appointment through a participating pharmacy or at a Vitalité or Horizon health network clinic as soon as possible.

All eligible New Brunswickers can book their second-dose appointments for a date that is at least 28 days after their first dose.

Those attending a vaccination clinic are asked to bring their Medicare card, a signed consent form and, for those receiving their second dose, a copy of the record of immunization provided after receiving their first dose.

A list of upcoming mobile and walk-in clinics is available online.

Health-care personnel – including those working in long term care facilities – and residents of First Nations communities can now book an appointment to receive an mRNA COVID-19 booster dose if six months have passed since their second dose of a vaccine.

Appointments can be scheduled for a regional health authority community COVID-19 vaccination clinic through the online booking system or at a participating pharmacy. Residents of First Nations communities can also book an appointment at a community clinic. Health-care workers and residents of First Nations communities must bring their proof of vaccination, i.e. immunization record, to their appointment.

Regional breakdown of new cases

The 11 new cases in Zone 1 (Moncton region) are as follows:

·         Four people 19 and under;

·         A person 20-29;

·         Two people 30-39;

·         Three people 40-49; and;

·         A person 70-79.

All 11 cases are under investigation.

The nine new cases in Zone 2 (Saint John region) are as follows:

·         Four people 19 and under;

·         Three people 20-29; and;

·         Two people 60-69.

All nine cases are under investigation.

The seven new cases in Zone 3 (Fredericton region) are as follows:

·         A person 20-29;

·         A person 30-39;

·         Four people 40-49; and;

·         A person 50-59.

All seven cases are under investigation.

The seven new cases in Zone 4 (Edmundston region) are as follows:

·         Three people 20-29;

·         A person 30-39;

·         A person 40-49; and

·         Two people 60-69.

All seven cases are under investigation

The five new cases in Zone 5 (Campbellton region) are as follows:

·         A person 19 and under;

·         Two people 30-39;

·         A person 40-49; and;

·         A person 60-69.

All five cases are under investigation.

The one new case in Zone 6 (Bathurst region) is a person 19 and under. This case is under investigation.

Additional information is available on the COVID-19 dashboard.

Potential public exposures

Anyone with symptoms of the virus, as well as anyone who has been at the site of a possible public exposure, is urged to request a test online to get an appointment.

A map of potential public exposures can also be found on the COVID-19 dashboard.