FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government announced today that people 30 and older may now schedule an appointment online to receive their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine through Vitalité or Horizon health networks or by contacting a participating pharmacy.

If an eligible individual, or a caregiver or family member acting on their behalf, is unable to book an appointment at a clinic online, they may call 1-833-437-1424.

“On May 10, when we invited those 40 and over to get their first dose, they set a new record for the number of people who booked an appointment through clinics offered by regional health authorities,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “I thank everyone who has been vaccinated, made an appointment to get one or is eagerly awaiting their turn. Every person vaccinated represents an important step forward for our province.”

Walk-in appointments are not available. If you have a vaccination appointment that you cannot attend because you have been directed to self-isolate, please reschedule your appointment.

16 new cases

Public Health reported 16 new cases of COVID-19 today. This includes one travel-related case of a New Brunswicker who is isolating outside the province.

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

  • an individual 19 and under; and
  • an individual 50-59.

One case is a contact of a previously confirmed case and the other is under investigation.

The one case in Zone 2 (Saint John region) is an individual 30-39. The case is travel related.

The 10 cases in Zone 3 (Fredericton region) are as follows:

  • three people 19 and under;
  • an individual 20-29;
  • two people 30-39; and
  • four people 40-49.

Six cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases, one is travel related and three are under investigation.

The one case in Zone 4 (Edmundston region) is an individual 40-49. The case is travel related.

The two cases in Zone 6 (Bathurst region) are as follows:

  • an individual 50-59; and
  • an individual 60-69.

One case is travel related and one is a contact of a previously confirmed case.

The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 2,040. Since yesterday, 12 people have recovered for a total of 1,871 recoveries. There have been 41 deaths, and the number of active cases is 127. Ten patients are hospitalized in total. Six patients are hospitalized in New Brunswick, including two in an intensive care unit. Four patients are hospitalized out of province. Yesterday, 1,371 tests were conducted for a total of 309,544.

One person has recovered from a rare blood clot linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine, another is still in hospital

Public Health has confirmed two cases of a rare blood clot associated with low platelets known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) in New Brunswickers 50-59 who received the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Both individuals received a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in mid-April. One of them experienced symptoms after about 11 days and the other after 19 days.

Russell said both individuals received treatment and one has now recovered. The other remains in hospital. Due to patient confidentiality, additional details will not be released.

Earlier this month, Public Health confirmed the death of a New Brunswicker 60-69 due to VITT and said that another individual between 30-39 had recovered.

Russell noted that the global frequency of VITT remains low and has been estimated at about one case in 55,000 to one case in 100,000 doses of vaccine.

“We have experienced a higher-than-average number of cases of VITT compared to the global numbers, which can happen,” she said. “However, AstraZeneca remains an important tool in our fight against COVID-19. I encourage those who are eligible to follow the guidance of Public Health and get vaccinated.”

Based upon the advice of Public Health, the AstraZeneca vaccine is not currently being used as a first dose for the general public but remains an option for people 55 and older who are homebound and cannot access other vaccines that cannot be transported to homes. This is only done with the informed consent of the person.

The province is not suspending the use of AstraZeneca. It continues to be offered as an option to people who are over 55 with informed consent when we have supply.  Currently the supply is limited so it is being used for those who are homebound and cannot access another vaccine.   If supply of AstraZeneca increases, it will continue to be offered to New Brunswickers who want it. 

The province has about 4,000 doses of AstraZeneca and is expecting another 13,500 doses to arrive by the end of the month. It is expected these will be offered to those who received a first dose of AstraZeneca and who want a second dose of the same vaccine. Again, this will be done with the patient’s informed consent. The provincial government will continue to assess the use of this vaccine, based upon expert advice and an assessment of risks and benefits.

Schools in Zone 3

Two positive cases of COVID-19 were confirmed at Leo Hayes High School in Fredericton on May 12 and the school community was notified. Students will learn from home today and Friday, May 14, as contact tracing is carried out. Since no school was scheduled for Monday, May 17, it is anticipated that students will return to school on Tuesday May 18, unless they are contacted directly by Public Health.

A positive case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Nashwaaksis Middle School in Fredericton on May 12 and the school community was notified. The school is closed today and more information will be sent directly to families later today.

A possible exposure to a positive case of COVID-19 was confirmed at New Maryland Elementary School in New Maryland on May 12 and the school community was notified. The school is open today.

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.

“Over the past year, school, district, department and Public Health staff have gone above and beyond to keep our schools healthy and safe while minimizing the impact on learning to the greatest extent possible,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy. “I thank everyone for their tireless efforts to protect our students and staff. Because of you, our students have been able to maintain routines and ensure their physical, mental and social needs are met.”

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 can 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 and dates in Fredericton:

  • McDonald’s Restaurant, 1177 Prospect St. on Wednesday, May 5, at 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.
  • McDonald’s Restaurant in Walmart, 125 Two Nations Crossing on Thursday, May 6, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Brainfix Clinic, 56 Avonlea Crt. on Thursday, May 6.
  • Adica Massage Clinic, 152 King St., on Thursday, May 6.
  • Williams Chiropractic, 169 Main St. on Thursday, May 6.
  • Simms Home Hardware Building Centre, 190 King St. on Thursday, May 6.
  • Costco Gas Bar, 5 Wayne Squibb Blvd. on Thursday, May 6.
  • Massage Experts, 169 Dundonald St., on Thursday, May 6, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and on Friday. May 7, from 10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • Jacks Pizza, 379 King St., on Friday, May 7, at 1 p.m.
  • Mitch Clarke Skate Park, 116 Johnston Ave. on Friday, May 7, from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Garrison Skatepark, York Street Parking Lot on Friday, May 7, from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • James Joyce Pub, 659 Queen St. on Friday, May 7, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • McDonald’s Restaurant, 94 Main St., on Friday, May 7, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday, May 8, from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Princess Auto, 21 Trinity Ave. on Saturday, May 8, from 8 a.m. to noon.
  • Fredericton Public Library, 12 Carleton St. on Saturday, May 8, from 10 a.m. to noon.
  • Northside Market, 170 Main St. on Sunday, May 9, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Irving Oil, 181 King St. on Sunday, May 9, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Dollarama, 5 Trinity Dr. on Sunday, May 9, from noon to 2 p.m.
  • NB Liquor, 18 Trinity Dr. on Sunday, May 9, from noon to 5 p.m.
  • Home Sense, 18 Trinity Dr. on Sunday, May 9, from noon to 5 p.m.
  • Tim Hortons’ drive thru on Regent Street on Monday, May 10, at 1:30 p.m.
  • Superstore, 471 Smythe St, on Monday, May 10, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Tuesday, May 11, from 10 a.m. to noon.
  • Shoppers Drug Mart, 1040 Prospect St. on Tuesday, May 11, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Public Health has identified a potential public exposure to the virus at the following location and date in Lincoln:

  • Scott’s Nursery, 2192 Route 102, on Saturday, May 8, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Reminder of Yellow level

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