FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government announced that, beginning today, people 75 and older, rotational workers, regular cross-border commuters and truck drivers are now eligible to book an appointment at a pharmacy for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Walk-in appointments are not available. When booking an appointment, people should indicate if they are self-isolating as pharmacies may have specific processes for them.

For people 75 and older, a caregiver or family member acting on their behalf can make the appointment.

Rotational workers, regular cross-border commuters and truck drivers must bring proof of eligibly to their appointment.

Regular cross-border commuters can use their multi-use travel registration through the New Brunswick Travel Registration Program. Truck drivers can use a Class 1 licence to demonstrate eligibility and rotational workers can use their travel registration confirmation.

“Please do not call a pharmacy unless you are in one of these groups or you are calling on behalf of someone in one of these groups,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shepherd. “We will announce when booking opens for other priority groups.”

12 new cases

Public Health reported 12 new cases of COVID-19 today.

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

  • an individual 30-39; and
  • an individual 40-49.

Both of these cases are under investigation.

The 10 cases in Zone 4 (Edmundston region) are as follows:

  • an individual 19 and under. This case is travel related.
  • three people 30-39. Two cases are travel-related and the other is under investigation.
  • an individual 40-49. This case is travel related.
  • three people 50-59. One case is a contact of a previously reported case and the other two cases are under investigation.
  • an individual 60-69. This case is a contact of a previously reported case.
  • an individual 70-79. This case is a contact of a previously reported case.

All 12 cases are self-isolating.

The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 1,517. Since yesterday, five people have recovered for a total of 1,423 recoveries. There have been 30 deaths, and the number of active cases is 63. Three patients are hospitalized. Yesterday, 956 tests were conducted for a total of 247,431.

Mass testing for asymptomatic people in Zone 4

With confirmed cases of the variant appearing in Zone 4 (Edmundston region), a mass testing clinic has been set up to help determine if there has been any further spread in the region. This is available for individuals who do not have any symptoms of COVID-19 and who are not self-isolating but who wish to be tested.

Testing will be held over two days, Thursday, March 25 and Friday, March 26, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Saint-Basile arena, at 275 Principale St.

No appointment is necessary. Screening tests will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis. Asymptomatic people do not need to self-isolate while awaiting results unless advised to do so by Public Health.

People who have a previously-booked appointment for a test at the Edmundston Regional Hospital’s assessment centre should go to these appointments.

People with symptoms are asked to request a test online or call Tele-Care 811 to get an appointment at the nearest screening centre.

Vaccination clinics for staff at high schools

This week, 4,500 staff from high schools provincewide will have the opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccination at a clinic in one of 16 locations. Schools will be closed to students on the days that local clinics are being held to allow staff to be vaccinated and to plan for the full return to school.

Vaccination clinics in Saint John will be available for staff from the following schools on Thursday, March 25:

  • Harbour View High School in Saint John
  • Saint John High School
  • Simonds High School in Saint John
  • St. Malachy's Memorial High School in Saint John
  • Centre scolaire Samuel-de-Champlain in Saint John

Additional clinics will be held throughout the week for high school staff in the following areas:

  • March 26 – Tracadie and Moncton regions;
  • March 29 – Shediac, Bathurst, and Campbellton regions.

More detailed information about the clinics and registration will be sent directly to the appropriate school staff.

In the coming weeks, additional vaccination clinics will be available for staff in elementary and middle schools, including bus drivers, and for early childhood service providers and child-care staff as part of the large employer section of the vaccine rollout plan.

Confirmed case at Carrefour de la Jeunesse in Edmundston (Zone 4)

A positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at Carrefour de la Jeunesse in Edmundston and the school community has been notified. Students, staff and families have been asked to self-isolate until further notice as contact tracing is carried out. The school and child-care facility located within the school, Halte scolaire Carrefour de la Jeunesse, will be closed until April 6. Students will learn from home.

If you or a family member have been in close contact with a case, you will be notified by Public Health for contact tracing. If you do not hear directly from Public Health, you have not been identified as a close contact.

Exposure notifications

Public Health follows a standard process when addressing instances where the public may have been exposed to a case of COVID-19. In cases where record-keeping is able to identify anyone who may have been exposed, officials contact these individuals directly and do not issue a separate announcement. In cases where officials cannot be certain of exactly who may have been exposed to the virus in a given location, Public Health issues an announcement to alert those who could have been affected and provides instructions.

Public Health has identified a potential public exposure to the virus at the following locations in Edmundston:

  • Kentucky Fried Chicken Restaurant, 180 Hébert Blvd., on March 19 between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Centre Jean-Daigle, 85 du 15 Août St., on March 21, during a hockey game of the Edmundston Blizzard which started at 3 p.m.

Reminder of Yellow level

All zones are in the Yellow level under the province’s mandatory order.