The regional health authority says it “has no other choice” than to divert patients to other hospitals. The intensive care unit at Edmundston Hospital is “at full capacity in its ability to provide safe care to patients on ventilators,” President and CEO Dr. France Desrosiers said in a statement.
The highly transmissible variant of COVID-19 first reported in the UK struck the Edmundston area, Zone 4, “with unprecedented force,” she said.
Of the 162 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 133 are in the Edmundston area, including one of three new cases reported on Tuesday. The dashboard does not indicate how many of these are the variant.
“Many patients with this variant need to be admitted due to the severity of their symptoms requiring acute care,” Desrosiers said.
COVID-19 patients in the greater Edmundston area who need to be hospitalized will be transferred to the Dr Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital in Fredericton, located about a three-hour drive away.
Non-COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization will be diverted to Grand Falls General Hospital, Hôtel-Dieu Saint-Joseph in Saint-Quentin, Campbellton Regional Hospital and Chaleur Regional Hospital.
This measure will be reassessed on Thursday, Vitalité said.
Part of zone 4 remains in red
Part of the Edmundston region remains on the COVID-19 red alert level, while the rest of the province remains at the least restrictive yellow level.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr Jennifer Russell said public health will discuss the possibility of further restrictions in the region as cases continue to rise. Hospital capacity is a trigger for changing measures.
No travel is recommended in and out of Zone 4, except when necessary, such as for medical appointments and essential work.
“This recommendation does not include any travel to hockey games or other sporting events in other areas,” Public Health said in a press release.
3 new cases
New Brunswick has three new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of active cases to 162, Public Health announced Tuesday.
Eighteen people are hospitalized with the respiratory virus, including 12 in intensive care.
The new cases include:
- A person in their 20s in the Saint John area, Zone 2. This case is travel related.
- Person in his 60s in the Fredericton area, Zone 3. This case is also related to travel.
- A person in their thirties in the Edmundston region, zone 4. This case is linked to an already confirmed case.
The three individuals isolate themselves.
Public Health also confirmed on Tuesday that the seven cases reported Monday in the Moncton area, Zone 1, are related and are travel-related.
New Brunswick has recorded 1,665 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March. There have been 1,472 recoveries, including nine on Monday, and 30 COVID-related deaths.
As of Monday, 791 tests have been carried out for a total of 262,088 to date.
Online vaccination reservation for maintenance
The online vaccination booking tool for regional health authority clinics should undergo maintenance on Tuesday between 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. The reservation function will not be available during this time, Public Health said.
More information on registration is available online.
What to do if you have a symptom
People who are concerned about having symptoms of COVID-19 can take an online self-report test.
Public health says symptoms exhibited by people with COVID-19 include:
- Fever greater than 38 C.
- New cough or worsening chronic cough.
- Sore throat.
- Runny nose.
- New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell.
- Difficulty in breathing.
In children, symptoms also included purple markings on the fingers and toes.
People with any of these symptoms should: