FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government announced today that masking in public indoor spaces will be added to the previously approved list that will take effect at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 21.

“We need urgent action by all New Brunswickers, regardless of vaccination status, to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “As transmission increases, we must take this extra step to make indoor public spaces safer for everyone. We all need to continue practising public health measures to protect ourselves and our loved ones, the most important of which is to get vaccinated.”

Masks will be mandatory in all indoor public spaces, including:

  • public spaces where the public and employees interact, such as retail businesses, malls, service centres, places of worship, and restaurants and bars except while eating;
  • organized indoor gatherings in public spaces, such as weddings and funerals;
  • common areas like lobbies, elevators and hallways, and public shared spaces including those in private sector and government workspaces; and
  • public transportation.

Previously existing mask policies continue to apply in public schools and early childhood learning facilities.

Last week, it was announced that effective Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 11:59 p.m. people will be required to show proof of vaccination when accessing certain events, services and businesses, and anyone entering New Brunswick must preregister their travel.

“The fourth wave of COVID-19 is in New Brunswick and we need everyone to do their part to help reduce the severity of the disease and protect our health-care system,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. “All of these measures are aimed at slowing the rate of transmission as vaccination rates rise. We are still going to have cases and we will still have hospitalizations but by working together we can keep it manageable and help our health-care professionals as they work so hard on behalf of all New Brunswickers.”

Information on the updated regulations is available online.

Confirmed cases in schools and child care facilities

Positive cases have been confirmed in schools in zones 1 (Moncton region), 4 (Edmundston region) and 5 (Campbellton region).

The respective school communities have been notified. If you or a family member have been in close contact with a case, you will be notified by Public Health for contact tracing. This notification may be communicated by the school. If you do not hear directly from Public Health, you have not been identified as a close contact.

As per New Brunswick’s Healthy and Safe Schools guidelines, schools with cases will close or move to online learning for at least one calendar day to support contact tracing, risk assessments and operational responses. Districts have contacted families directly with specific information regarding any impact on learning, including information on home learning, if required.

Zone 1 (Moncton region) – A positive case of COVID-19 was confirmed at each of the following schools: École Saint-Henri in Moncton; Tantramar Regional High School in Sackville; Port Elgin Regional School; and Birchmount School in Moncton. A new positive case was also confirmed at Harrison Trimble High School in Moncton. In addition, a positive case was confirmed at each of the following early learning and child care facilities in Moncton: Sonshine Kids Academy and the Greater Moncton School of Discovery Afterschool.

Zone 4 (Edmundston region) – A positive case of COVID-19 was confirmed at each of the following schools: John Caldwell School in Grand Falls; and Carrefour de la Jeunesse in Edmundston. Positive cases were also confirmed at École Mgr-Lang in Drummond and new cases were also confirmed at Polyvalente Alexandre-J.-Savoie in Saint-Quentin.

Zone 5 (Campbellton region) – A new case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Galion des Appalaches in Campbellton.

In response to the high number of cases impacting schools in the Perth-Andover community, a testing program for high school students who have not been able to book a test through a COVID-19 assessment centre is being set up at Southern Victoria High School. These tests are self-administered and if a positive result occurs from the rapid test, a PCR test conducted through an assessment centre will be done to confirm the result.

152 of 199 new cases not fully vaccinated

Public Health is reporting a three-day total of 85 recoveries and 199 new cases since Sept. 17; 152 or 76 per cent of these new cases are not fully vaccinated.

The total since Friday includes 63 new cases on Saturday, 75 on Sunday and 61 today.

There are 23 people hospitalized due to the virus, with 14 in an intensive care unit. The number of active cases is 484.

The 46 new cases in Zone 1 (Moncton region) are as follows:

  • eight people 19 and under;
  • nine people 20-29;
  • five people 30-39;
  • eight people 40-49;
  • seven people 60-69;
  • four people 70-79;
  • two people 80-89; and
  • three people 90 and over.

A total of 32 cases are under investigation and 14 are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

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

  • two people 19 and under;
  • a person 30-39;
  • a person 50-59;
  • a person 60-69; and
  • a person 70-79.

Two cases are under investigation and four cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

The 69 new cases in Zone 3 (Fredericton region) are as follows:

  • 19 people 19 and under;
  • eight people 20-29;
  • two people 30-39;
  • eight people 40-49;
  • 11 people 50-59;
  • 14 people 60-69;
  • four people 70-79; and
  • three people 80-89.

A total of 44 cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases and 25 are under investigation.

The 29 new cases in Zone 4 (Edmundston region) are as follows:

  • 11 people 19 and under;
  • seven people 20-29;
  • three people 30-39;
  • a person 40-49;
  • two people 50-59;
  • two people 70-79; and
  • three people 80-89.

A total of 15 cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases and 14 are under investigation.

The 35 new cases in Zone 5 (Campbellton region) are as follows:

  • 14 people 19 and under;
  • 12 people 20-29;
  • four people 30-39;
  • a person 40-49;
  • three people 50-59; and
  • a person 70-79.

A total of 17 cases are under investigation, 17 are contacts of previously confirmed cases and one case is travel related.

The 13 new cases in Zone 6 (Bathurst region) are as follows:

  • three people 19 and under;
  • a person 20-29;
  • two people 30-39;
  • four people 40-49; and
  • three people 60-69.

Eight cases are under investigation and five are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

The one new case in Zone 7 (Miramichi region) is a person 70-79. The case is under investigation.

Additional information is available on the COVID-19 dashboard.

Vaccination update

Public Health reported today that 77.8 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 86.5 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.

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 or call Tele-Care 811 to get an appointment.