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

Public Health officials are restricting visitors who have travelled outside the country from entering any long-term care facility for 14 days after they have returned to Canada. Anyone who is feeling unwell should not enter such a facility.

We are very concerned about keeping this infection out of nursing homes, seniors’ residences, and other locations where vulnerable people gather. Visitors who have travelled outside the country in the last 14 days are restricted from entering long-term care homes. Those who have travelled outside the country in the last 14 days are also restricted from entering health-care facilities to visit those most at risk for severe illness. These measures do not apply to health-care professionals who work in those institutions unless they have visited the Hubei province in China, Iran or Italy.

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.

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.