FREDERICTON (GNB) – Public Health has confirmed two people have died as a result of COVID-19. This brings the total number of COVID-19-related deaths in the province to 66.

A person 70-79 in Zone 2 (Saint John region) and a person 50-59 in Zone 4 (Edmundston region) region) have died.

Public Health reported 93 new cases of COVID-19 and 96 recoveries. The number of active cases is 759. Of the new cases, 67 per cent are unvaccinated, 13 per cent are partially vaccinated and 20 per cent are fully vaccinated. There are 45 people hospitalized due to the virus, with 20 in an intensive care unit. No one under the age of 19 is currently hospitalized. Of those currently in hospital, 35 are unvaccinated, 10 are either partially vaccinated or fully vaccinated.

“Two more deaths from COVID-19 is tragic news and Marcia and I extend our condolences to the families of those who passed away,” Premier Blaine Higgs said. “The measures put in place in the mandatory order are aimed at reducing the spread and we need every person in New Brunswick to follow them to combat the virus. Get vaccinated and follow the measures and we’ll soon see a steady improvement.”   

“Hearing of two more deaths in our province from this virus is heartbreaking and my sympathies to their families today,” Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical office of health said. “In this fourth wave, we have seen a high number of cases sparked from private gatherings. Limiting those gatherings to 20 as per the mandatory order helps reduce spread and improve our contact tracing.” 

Public Health contact tracing since Friday has determined a number of private gatherings are resulting in transmission of the virus, particularly among unvaccinated people. Events including hunting parties, prayer groups, birthday parties, private funerals and a backyard wedding have resulted in new cases at various locations throughout the province.

COVID-19 assessment centres

Delays for COVID-19 testing at assessment centres throughout the province have been resolved in all areas except for Zone 3 (Fredericton region).

Appointments are being booked between 24-48 hours with extended hours to increase capacity at some assessment centres. Zone 3 is experiencing a bit of a backlog, but it is anticipated it will be resolved before end of day Tuesday.

“We are seeing the backlog reduce significantly,” Russell said. “I would like to remind everyone that testing is conducted on a priority basis with individuals who have symptoms prioritized, so if you do not have symptoms or are not identified as a contact of a case or have not been to an exposure site, please self-monitor and get tested if you have symptoms.”

Vaccination update

Public Health reported today that 80.5 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 89.5 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.

Regional breakdown of new cases

The 10 new cases in Zone 1 (Moncton region) are as follows:

  • Four people 19 and under;
  • Two people 20-29;
  • Two people 30-39;
  • A person 40-49; and
  • A person 50-59.

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

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

  • Two people 19 and under;
  • Two people 60-69; and
  • A person 70-79.

All five cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

The 29 new cases in Zone 3 (Fredericton region) are as follows:

  • Nine cases are people 19 and under;
  • Two people 20-29;
  • Six people 30-39;
  • A person 40-49;
  • Four people 50-59;
  • A person 60-69;
  • Five people 70-79; and
  • A person 90 and over.

Twenty-one cases are under investigation and eight cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

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

  • Six people 19 and under;
  • Three people 20-29;
  • Eight people 30-39;
  • Seven people 40-49;
  • Three people 50-59; and
  • Two people 60-69.

Sixteen cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases and 13 are under investigation.

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

  • Two people 19 and under;
  • A person 20-29;
  • Two people 30-39; and
  • A person 90 and over.

Five cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases and one is under investigation.

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

  • Two people 20-29;
  • Five people 30-39;
  • A person 50-59; and
  • A person 80-89.

Seven cases are under investigation and two are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

The five new cases in Zone 7 (Miramichi region) as follows:

  • A person 19 and under;
  • Two people 20-29;
  • A person 30-39; and
  • A person 90 and over.

Three cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases and two are under investigation.

Additional information is available on the COVID-19 dashboard.

Public Safety officers conducting spot checks at churches this weekend

A number of churches in the province have been the site of public exposures recently. While the vast majority of churches have been following the rules of the mandatory order, concerns remain that not all are. Public Safety officers have been out this weekend conducting spot checks of churches to ensure the mandatory order rules are being followed. Fines will be given to institutions and individuals who break the mandatory order rules. Early reports from officers conducting the checks show compliance has been good.

State of emergency and public health measures in effect

The provincial government is reminding New Brunswickers that based on the current level of COVID-19 hospitalizations, a state of emergency and mandatory order is now in effect. It includes new measures to limit contacts, ensure physical distancing is maintained, and require certain businesses and events to have a vaccination or masking-and-testing workplace policy. Additional details are available online.

All current public health measures also remain in place, including the mandatory use of masks in indoor public spaces and the requirement to show proof of full vaccination when accessing certain events, services and businesses.

Anyone entering New Brunswick must pre-register through the New Brunswick Travel Registration Program.

Additional information about the updated measures 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.