FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following update on novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was issued today by Dr. Cristin Muecke, acting medical officer of health:

Anyone who has traveled internationally in the past 14 days should monitor themselves for 14 days from when they arrived back in Canada. Individual risk will vary depending upon the destination. People arriving from Iran or the Chinese province of Hubei will need to isolate themselves regardless of symptoms.

Older adults and people who have certain chronic medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart and lung disease are more likely to contract the novel coronavirus and to experience more severe symptoms.

This particular group should plan to start minimizing attendance at crowded gatherings and mass events or think of other ways of participating (i.e. virtual attendance). Stay in touch with others through phone, email or text. This group should think about what health and food supplies they need on hand should they have to stay home, and slowly start replenishing their shelves with non-perishable, easy-to-prepare foods like dried pasta and sauce and canned soup, vegetables and beans. Also consider seeing your health-care provider or pharmacist to renew your prescriptions ahead of time.

We are very concerned about keeping this infection out of nursing homes, seniors’ residences, and other locations where vulnerable people gather. If you are a staff member, family member, or friend and you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection, please avoid nursing and other care homes, senior’s residences, and assisted living facilities.

All New Brunswickers have a role to play in preventing the spread of respiratory infection by taking simple actions such as washing your hands frequently, covering your coughs and sneezes and staying home when sick.

Symptoms such as fever, cough, and difficulty breathing may take up to 14 days to appear. Should an individual who has recently traveled outside the country experience non-specific symptoms (such as headache, congestion, achiness, feeling unwell) they should separate themselves from others and stay home to monitor themselves.

Should these symptoms progress to include fever or cough, the individual should:

  • immediately call 811;
  • describe their symptoms and travel history; and
  • follow any instructions carefully.

Continue to take important everyday precautions such as washing your hands often and avoiding touching common surfaces in public places.

The Department of Health continues to work closely with its partners and will continue to issue public updates.

It is recommended that all people with influenza-like symptoms limit contact with other people, including other household members, until they are free of symptoms and are feeling well, regardless of their travel history.