“We don’t want to cancel Christmas. We don’t want to create such restrictions that people can’t take advantage of their families, ”she told reporters on Thursday. But she is “very worried” about the high number of cases and a “significant amount” of community spread.
It’s also unclear what will happen in the coming weeks in Quebec and Ontario, both of which have confirmed cases of the potentially more transmissible new COVID-19 variant, omicron, she said.
Public Health is developing a COVID-19 “winter plan” that will be presented to Cabinet. “We should know something by Monday,” Shephard said.
When asked if people should wait to plan their Christmas trip, she replied, “Yes, give me until Monday. “
One person 90 years or older in the Moncton area, Zone 1, and one in their 60s in the Saint John area, Zone 2, have died from COVID-19. Their deaths bring the number of deaths from the pandemic to 130.
Sixteen people are in intensive care, against 15, including 12 on a ventilator.
Fifty-nine people are hospitalized, against 67. One of them is under 19 years old.
Twenty-six of those patients contracted the virus while they were already in hospital for another reason, with outbreaks at the Moncton Hospital, Saint John Regional Hospital, and Saint John Regional Hospital. Miramichi.
“Most” of them show “mild to moderate symptoms,” Public Health said in a press release.
There are now 691 active cases in the province, up from 676.
“We always see the importance of getting vaccinated and the layer of protection it offers,” Dr. Jennifer Russell, Chief Medical Officer of Health, said in a statement. “Currently, in our intensive care unit, the rate of unvaccinated versus vaccinated people is over 30 times higher. “
A total of 81.8% of eligible New Brunswickers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, up from 81.7%, and 87% have received their first dose, up from 86.8.
That’s down from 88% and 93.8% respectively on Sunday, as the province began including children aged 5 to 11 in its immunization statistics.
Shephard said the three days of “lower numbers” from Sunday to Monday were “promising.”
The 95 new cases of Thursday and the 94 new cases of Wednesday are however “significant”.
“I don’t know how to make the public understand that we need their support so much to keep up with public health measures. “
It’s the balance, isn’t it? … You don’t want to be afraid to bite, you don’t want to short sell, you know, the problems we’re trying to deal with.– Dorothy Shephard, Minister of Health
She expressed her frustration with the spread of the community.
“Because that’s always been our biggest fear, hasn’t it?” And we are seeing a significant amount of community spreading.
“So to me that means we’re coming to a different level, and we have to consider that Christmas is only, you know, three and a half weeks away, and we really have to figure out what it takes to make it a really. Merry Christmas. “
Omicron in Quebec and Ontario also throws a wrench into things because while health officials generally have a “good understanding” of what the next five or six days might bring, there are too many variables to predict.
“So it’s the balance, right?” … You don’t want to be afraid of the merchant, you don’t want to sell short, you know, the problems we’re trying to solve.
“So it’s about trying to be as real as possible and meeting people’s expectations and helping them understand where we need to go. “
About eight people who have traveled from southern African countries where omicron has been identified have self-isolated in New Brunswick.
So far, there are no confirmed cases of this variant in the province, Shephard said. She is also unaware of any suspected cases, she said.
The distribution of new cases includes:
Moncton area, zone 1 – 27 cases:
- 12 people 19 years or less
- Five people 20-29
- Three people 30-39
- Two people 40-49
- Three people 50-59
- Two people 70-79
Twenty-one of those cases are under investigation, five cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases and one case is travel-related.
Saint John area, zone 2 – 17 cases:
- Four cases 19 years or less
- Two people 20-29
- One person 30-39
- Two people 40-49
- Three people 50-59
- Two people 60-69
- Three people 70-79
Ten of these cases are under investigation and seven are contacts of previously confirmed cases.
Fredericton area, zone 3 – 30 cases:
- 15 people 19 years or less
- Four people 20-29
- Three people 30-39
- Four people 40-49
- One person 50-59
- One person 60-69
- One person 70-79
- One person 80-89
Nineteen of these cases are under investigation and 11 are contacts of previously confirmed cases.
Campbellton area, zone 5 – one case:
This case is a contact of a previously confirmed case.
Miramichi region, zone 7 – 20 cases:
- Six people 19 years of age or younger
- Two people 30-39
- Seven people 40-49
- Two people 50-59
- Three people 70-79
Twelve of these cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases and eight cases are under investigation.
New Brunswick has recorded 8,506 confirmed cases of COVID-19 during the pandemic with 7,684 recoveries so far.
A total of 563,144 tests have been carried out to date, including 1,761 on Wednesday.
2 cases at the UNB Fredericton residence
The University of New Brunswick has two confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the Fredericton campus in the Joy Kidd residence.
“Public health is actively investigating the situation. UNB takes all of its guidelines and guidelines, ”the university said in a“ special announcement ”emailed to students Thursday afternoon.
No information on the two individuals has been released.
“With the increase in COVID cases in the province, an exhibition on our campuses is expected,” the email read.
“At this time, we do not anticipate any changes in our operations, this includes classroom management or course delivery. “
The UNB has a COVID vaccination rate of 96.7% – and even higher among residences, according to the email.
The university’s success also depends on “extremely high compliance” with the testing policy, he said.
New cases in 7 schools, 2 daycares
Eleven new cases of COVID-19 have been detected in seven schools in three health zones since Wednesday, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development website said.
One or more positive cases were detected in the following schools: Magnetic Hill School, Northrop Frye School and Holy SchoolThere’se, all in the Moncton area, zone 1, Westfield School and Hammond River Valley Elementary School, both in the Saint John area, Zone 2, and Park Street Elementary School and Nashwaaksis Memorial School, both in the Fredericton area, Zone 3.
The website does not indicate whether the cases involve students, teachers or staff.
Thirty-eight schools are currently affected.
Three schools have COVID-related operational days on Thursday, according to the department’s website.
A total of 548 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in 150 schools since the start of the school year.
Two new cases of COVID-19 have also been detected in two daycares in the Fredericton area, zone 3.
Go-Go After School Park Street, which has not been touched before, and L’il Critters Learning and Child Care, each have a confirmed case.
The website does not indicate whether the cases involve children, staff or volunteers.
There have been 98 learning and child care centers affected by COVID-19 since September 7. The total number of cases has not been released.
Notice of public exhibition
Public Health issued new public display notices on Thursday, including an arena in the Moncton area, Zone 1, a restaurant in the Saint John area, Zone 2, and a movie theater in the Fredericton area, Zone 3.
For a complete list of new and previous public display notices, visit the provincial government website.
People who have not been fully vaccinated at least 14 days before a possible exposure and who have symptoms should undergo a COVID lab test. They can make an appointment online or call Tele-Care 811 and must self-isolate while awaiting the result of their test.
People who are not fully vaccinated and are not showing symptoms are now encouraged to purchase a COVID-19 Rapid Point of Care Test (Rapid POCT) home screening kit. They don’t need to self-isolate if they haven’t been instructed by public health to do so.
All positive point-of-care test results should be confirmed by a laboratory polymerase chain reaction or PCR test.
It can take up to 14 days to test positive after being exposed to COVID-19, so even if the results are negative, people should continue to monitor themselves for any symptoms and get tested immediately. it develops.
They should also avoid visiting settings where vulnerable populations live, such as nursing homes, correctional facilities and shelters during this 14-day period.
For people who have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days before a possible exposure, Public Health recommends monitoring symptoms for 14 days after possible exposure and taking a COVID lab test if symptoms develop.
They don’t need to isolate themselves while waiting for their test results.
If they don’t have symptoms, they can get a quick test kit and don’t need to self-isolate.
What to do if you have a symptom
People who are concerned about having COVID-19 can take an online self-assessment test.
Public health said symptoms of the disease included fever above 38 ° C, new or worsening cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, new onset of fatigue and severe pain. breathing difficulties.
In children, symptoms also included purple markings on the fingers and toes.
People with any of these symptoms should stay home, call 811 or their doctor, and follow directions.