NB: Recap of COVID-19: First, confident, Zone 5 can bring the COVID epidemic under control

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As residents of Restigouche County enter the weekend into a more restrictive orange or recovery phase, Premier Blaine Higgs says the region is very close to being put back into the red phase as more positive cases of COVID-19 are announced.After reviewing the numbers, public health recommendations and where to strike the balance, the premier said the government has decided to limit interaction in the Campbellton area to individual bubbles to see if that would help limit the spread of the virus.

“Can we get any idea of ​​this,” Higgs said and others asked him. “And so we think we can, but we won’t do it without the residents being a part of it. ”

Three new cases were announced Thursday in the Campbellton area, or Zone 5, which now has 55 active cases and 300 people in self-isolation.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr Jennifer Russell said there were four distinct chains of infection in the area that cannot be linked, a strong indication of community spread of the virus.

Higgs said he was concerned about the growing number of cases in Area 5 and while the area technically remains in the orange stage, that might not be the case for long. (Serge Bouchard / Radio-Canada)

Mass tests will take place on Saturday and Sunday in zone 5 to allow public health to have a more accurate picture of the prevalence of the virus in the community. Russell said public health would have data from the two days of testing by Tuesday.

Screening for non-symptomatic people will take place Saturday at Memorial Regional Civic Center in Campbellton and Sunday at Inch Arran Arena in Dalhousie. The tests will be carried out from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.

This test is not intended for people who have symptoms, as they would follow the usual route to get tested at a testing center.

Many questions from the audience

Premier Blaine Higgs and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jennifer Russell answered COVID-related questions from New Brunswick residents on CBC New Brunswick. Information morning spectacles.

One of the most touching calls came from Edwina Baldwin. She said she had not been able to touch her husband, in a nursing home and in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease, since the province went into lockdown on March 15.

Even though she was able to visit him, they must be six feet apart and supervised, and she cannot touch him, despite the September 2 announcement that residents of nursing homes are now allowed to kiss a person. designated.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr Jennifer Russell said there was a strong indication the community spread was occurring in Zone 5. (Government of New Brunswick)

“Why can’t I touch my husband’s hand?” The next call I get, it will be on its way, ”Baldwin said.

Russell explained that it is up to each household to determine how it can manage visits with the family, based on the home’s operational plan and public health guidelines.

“I find that really sad, obviously,” Russell said.

Test possible for essential workers

After responding to a question about travel outside of the Atlantic Bubble, Higgs said the government plans to put in place new measures to test essential workers returning to New Brunswick.

Currently, those workers arriving in the province from outside the bubble are not required to self-isolate for 14 days like most other people. Higgs said the province is planning a testing program.

“We might do it on the first and tenth day, but we would work out a formula out there that would allow us to stay in touch and do the testing just to be sure,” Higgs said.

Another caller asked how soon the province would see rapid tests similar to the pilot being tested in Alberta, which will test essential workers entering Canada.

If the test comes back negative within 48 hours, the person is no longer required to self-isolate but will have to take another test on the 6th or 7th day after arrival.

Participants in the testing project will be closely monitored through daily symptom checks and will need to follow preventive health measures such as wearing masks in public places and avoiding visiting high-risk groups.

Russell said his ministry will be monitoring what is happening in Alberta to see if the ultimate goal of expanding it to other travelers can be achieved.

“Until then, you know, we need to, as the Prime Minister said, follow public health guidelines now. “

The suffering business community

Luc Couturier said residents of Campbellton were scared as the region continued to grapple with the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We are lowering our guards and this is happening. ”

Couturier owns and operates a family restaurant, Café Chez Wes, is president of the Downtown Campbellton business group and sits on the board of directors of the Restigouche Chamber of Commerce. He says businesses have been hit hard, including his own.

“I lost 50 to 60 percent of my clients in about a week. Business is very slow at the moment. ”

In addition to losing customers due to the suspension of the mini-bubble with the Quebec region of Avignon on October 8, Couturier said some companies are now facing shutdown due to orange phase restrictions.

“We are already seeing downtown businesses closing their doors shortly. They can’t follow like that.

Couturier said he was frustrated to hear Premier Higgs say the economy was good in the province.

“Well, I’m sorry sir, but get out of your office and go to the malls and go to the city centers. Businesses are hurting.

As a small business owner himself, Couturier said it was not acceptable that no help was offered to them by the government.

What to do if you have a symptom

People who are concerned about having symptoms of COVID-19 can take a self-report test on the government website at gnb.ca.

Public health says symptoms presented by people with COVID-19 include: fever above 38 C, new or worsening chronic cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache , new onset of fatigue, new onset of muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell and difficulty breathing.

In children, symptoms also included purple markings on the fingers and toes.

People with any of these symptoms should:

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