FREDERICTON (GNB) – As active case numbers and hospitalizations across the province have stabilized, Public Health has recommended an end to the circuit breaker measures in Zone 2 (Saint John region) effective at 6 p.m. on Friday.     

“I am pleased to report that Zone 2 has experienced a steady reduction in cases since circuit breaker measures were brought in,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “The reason for the increase in cases today is that a number of people whose infections were first detected by a rapid test have had results confirmed by our lab. As these individuals were already self-isolating, we are confident that the overall trend toward fewer cases should continue, which is why Public Health is comfortable lifting the circuit breaker restrictions.”

The circuit breaker will continue for another seven days in part of Zone 1 (Moncton region) but will be reduced to only cover the municipalities of Moncton, Dieppe and Riverview. Case activity is largely concentrated in those communities. The other areas of Zone 1 currently in a circuit breaker will have those restrictions lifted on Friday at 6 p.m.

“This zone has been under circuit breaker restrictions since Oct. 8 and we should be seeing lower cases with these measures in place, but unfortunately we are not,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard. “More than half our cases are due to household transmission, which should not be happening. Despite these restrictions, the number of cases remains high, particularly in the Greater Moncton area. We will be increasing enforcement to ensure those who are supposed to be isolating are doing so and to make sure that no household gatherings are taking place. If you see violations of the rules, I encourage you to call 1-844-462-8387 or email helpaide@gnb.ca.”

Additionally, with a continued increase of cases in Zone 7 (Miramichi region), a circuit breaker will take effect at 6 p.m. on Friday for all of that zone with the exception of Black River Bridge and communities to the east, Murray Settlement and areas south, and New Jersey and communities north.

More information about the circuit breaker rules, including a detailed list and map of affected communities, is available online.

44 recoveries from COVID-19 

Today, 44 more people have recovered from COVID-19. Public Health is reporting 69 new cases of the virus, with the number of active cases at 548.

Of the new cases, 39 – or 57 per cent – are unvaccinated, and 30 – or 43 per cent – are fully vaccinated.

There are 11 people in an intensive care unit; 10 are unvaccinated and one is fully vaccinated.

There are 17 people in hospital, including the 11 in intensive care. Of the 17 in hospital, 13 are unvaccinated and four are fully vaccinated. There is currently no one 19 or under in the hospital.

Vaccination update

Public Health reported today that 86.2 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 93 per cent have received their first dose of a vaccine.

Health-care personnel – including those working in long-term care facilities – and residents of First Nations communities can book an appointment to receive an mRNA COVID-19 booster dose if six months have passed since their second dose of a vaccine. They must bring proof of vaccination, i.e. immunization record, to their appointment.

People 65 and older and school personnel are permitted to book an appointment to receive an mRNA COVID-19 booster dose if six months have passed since their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Fully vaccinated people who have received one or two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in their series are permitted to book an appointment to receive an mRNA booster dose if 28 days have passed since their second dose.

Appointments for first and second doses, as well as a booster dose for those who are eligible, can be scheduled at a regional health authority vaccination clinic through the online booking system or at a participating pharmacy. Residents of First Nations communities can also book an appointment at a community clinic.

A list of upcoming clinics is available online.

Essential international travellers now eligible for booster dose

International travellers who mixed their first two doses of vaccine products are now eligible to book an appointment to receive a booster dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. This applies to anyone who must travel outside of North America for work, education or medical procedures. A booster dose of an mRNA vaccine will be available as long as a 28-day interval has passed since their previous dose.

“While the National Advisory Committee on Immunizations supports the interchangeability between COVID-19 vaccine products, at this time some countries do not recognize travellers with mixed vaccine products as being fully vaccinated,” said Russell.

In addition to providing a valid government ID at their vaccination appointment at a regional health authority clinic or pharmacy, individuals must provide a letter that includes their first and last name and shows their travel outside North America is essential. The following documentation will be accepted:

  • a letter from an employer stating the vaccination requirements for conditions of employment;
  • a letter from a physician or medical clinic stating vaccination requirements; or
  • a letter from an educational institution stating the vaccination requirements for the institution.

Appointments can be scheduled at a regional health authority vaccination clinic through the online booking system or at a participating pharmacy

Regional breakdown of cases

The 11 new cases in Zone 1 (Moncton region) are as follows:

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

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

The 21 new cases in Zone 2 (Saint John region) are as follows:

  • eight people 19 and under;
  • four people 20-29;
  • two people 30-39;
  • three people 40-49;
  • two people 50-59; and
  • two people 60-69.

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

The 17 new cases in Zone 3 (Fredericton region) are as follows:

  • three people 19 and under;
  • five people 20-29;
  • two people 30-39;
  • three people 40-49;
  • two people 50-59;
  • a person 60-69; and
  • a person 70-79.

Ten cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases and seven are under investigation.

The one new case in Zone 4 (Edmundston region) is a person 19 and under. This case is under investigation.

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

  • two people 19 and under;
  • a person 20-29; and
  • a person 40-49.

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

The one new case in Zone 6 (Bathurst region) is a person 19 and under and is a contact of a previously confirmed case.

The 14 new cases in Zone 7 (Miramichi region) are as follows:

  • six people 19 and under;
  • three people 20-29;
  • two people 30-39;
  • two people 50-59; and
  • a person 60-69.

Eleven cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases and three are under investigation.

Additional information is available on the COVID-19 dashboard.

Confirmed cases in schools and child-care facilities

Information on cases in schools is available on the Healthy and Safe Schools website and the COVID-19 dashboard.

A case has been confirmed at PowerPlay Academy Moncton 5 (Zone 1). Affected families have been notified. If you or a family member have been in close contact with a case, you will be notified by Public Health or the facility for contact tracing. If you are not notified directly, you have not been identified as a close contact.

Since Sept. 7, 69 early learning and child-care facilities have had confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Potential public exposure

Anyone with two or more symptoms of the virus is urged to request a test online to get an appointment.

If you have been at the site of a possible public exposure, but remain asymptomatic, you may be able to pick up a rapid-screening kit (while supplies last).

A map of potential public exposures can also be found on the COVID-19 dashboard.