N.B. COVID-19 roundup: 11 new cases, 'cluster' at Delta Fredericton jumps to 25

·16 min read
The 'cluster' of COVID-19 cases linked to the Delta Fredericton grew by 10 over the weekend to 25. (Shane Fowler/CBC - image credit)
The 'cluster' of COVID-19 cases linked to the Delta Fredericton grew by 10 over the weekend to 25. (Shane Fowler/CBC - image credit)

New Brunswick Public Health reported 11 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, five of them in the Fredericton region, which is also battling a growing "cluster" of cases at the Delta hotel, a new confirmed case at New Maryland Elementary School, a third confirmed case at Leo Hayes High School, an outbreak at the hospital, and has several new possible exposure warnings.

Ten more cases of COVID-19 have been identified at the Delta Fredericton since Friday, said Department of Health spokesperson Bruce Macfarlane.

That pushes the total number of cases linked to the former designated quarantine hotel to 25, including at least one employee.

Public Health isn't calling it an outbreak, but rather a "cluster."

The Delta is no longer part of the designated quaratine hotel program, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jennifer Russell confirmed last week.

Macfarlane did not respond to questions about whether an employee, isolating guest or regular guest has been identified as the index case.

But he did confirm there were previous positive cases at the hotel when he clarified numbers released last week.

On Friday, Macfarlane said there were five "direct" cases and 10 cases that were "direct contacts of previously confirmed cases."

On Monday, when asked whether the 10 cases referred to people in the community who were contacts of previously confirmed cases at the hotel, or people at the hotel who were contacts of previously confirmed cases in the community, he replied: "We mean people in the community who are contacts of either those five at the hotel or previous cases at the hotel."

Macfarlane could not say how many employees the Delta has.

The Delta has not responded to a request for comment.

Employees who worked at the hotel or its restaurant, STMR.36 BBQ & Social, from May 6 to 12 or from April 26 to May 2 have been "strongly encouraged" to get tested and abide by work isolation until Thursday.

If they choose not to get tested, they're required to isolate for 14 days after the date of the last potential exposure in the workplace.

Whether the employees get tested or not, members of their household are required to self-isolate for 14 days.

"Although it is not an outbreak, Public Health has put in processes at the Delta Fredericton similar to those used by the PROMT (Provincial Rapid Outbreak Management Team) in a long-term care facility outbreak to facilitate risk management processes and testing," Macfarlane said last week.

He did not say how many of the 25 cases involve the highly contagious variant first reported in India, which is circulating in the region.

118 active cases

The province now has 118 active cases.

The breakdown of the 11 new cases reported Monday is as follows:

Saint John region, Zone 2, three new cases:

  • A person 19 or under.

  • Two people 50-59.

Two of these are contacts of previously confirmed cases and the other is travel-related.

Fredericton region, Zone 3, five new cases:

  • Two people 19 or under.

  • Two people 40-49.

  • A person 50-59.

All of these cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

Edmundston region, Zone 4, two new cases:

  • Two people 50-59.

Both cases are under investigation.

Bathurst region, Zone 6: one new case:

  • A person 30-39.

This case is travel-related and the individual is isolating out of province.

The 11 new cases of COVID-19 announced Monday and the revised case count put the province's total active cases at 118.
The 11 new cases of COVID-19 announced Monday and the revised case count put the province's total active cases at 118. (CBC)

Six patients are hospitalized in New Brunswick, including two in an intensive care unit. Another four patients are hospitalized out of province, with one in an intensive care unit.

New Brunswick has had 2,073 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, with 1,913 recoveries and 41 COVID-related deaths.

A total 315,114 COVID tests have been conducted, including 1,126 on Sunday.

As of Monday, 324,056 New Brunswickers have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. That's 46.7 per cent of the eligible population.

Confirmed case at New Maryland Elementary School

A positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at New Maryland Elementary School, David McTimoney, superintendent of the Anglophone West School district, said in a letter to families Monday night.

The letter said Public Health officials will contact people if their child has been identified as a close contact of a confirmed case, in which case the child and all household members will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

If a child was potentially exposed due to a "common environment exposure," such as using the same restroom or hallways, then the child and all houshold members will be asked to self-isolate for 72 hours and self-monitor for 14 days.

Tuesday will be an operational day, with no instruction, to allow for continued contact tracing and cleaning of the school, said McTimoney.

Students will transition to online learning from home on Wednesday at 10 a.m., which will continue Thursday, when the situation will be reassessed and an update provided, he said.

3rd case of COVID-19 confirmed at Leo Hayes High School

A third case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at Leo Hayes High School in Fredericton over the weekend.

Two cases of COVID-19 were detected last week, forcing the local high school to close.

"Public Health has also confirmed that at this time, there is NO in-school transmission at Leo Hayes High School," McTimoney said in a letter to families on Sunday.

New Brunswick Public Health has confirmed a third case of COVID-19 at Leo Hayes High School in Fredericton over the weekend.
New Brunswick Public Health has confirmed a third case of COVID-19 at Leo Hayes High School in Fredericton over the weekend. (CBC)

McTimoney said Monday is a planned non-instructional day as per the school calendar.

Students will be learning from home on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

"We will reassess the situation on Thursday and provide you with an update on continued learning at that time," McTimoney said.

The high schools is working with Public Health officials to identify any students and school personnel who may have been in contact with the case, he said. Those people will be asked to self-isolate.

A positive case has also been confirmed at Nashwaaksis Middle School.

Horizon staffing 'a concern'

Forty Horizon Health Network employees in the Fredericton area are off work Monday because of the COVID-19 outbreak at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital, Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation and Veterans Health Unit.

That's down from 42 Sunday and 49 on Saturday.

But "staffing remains a concern," the regional health authority said in a news release.

The outbreak was declared Thursday after an employee of the Chalmers hospital tested positive for a COVID-19 variant of concern. Geri Geldart, vice-president of clinical services, previously confirmed the employee is a health-care worker.

An unknown number of Horizon employees and patients may have been exposed to the Chalmers health-care worker who tested positive for a COVID variant of concern last week.
An unknown number of Horizon employees and patients may have been exposed to the Chalmers health-care worker who tested positive for a COVID variant of concern last week.(Joe McDonald/CBC)

As of Monday, there are two COVID-19 patients in hospital and one COVID patient in ICU, Horizon said.

Overall "occupancy rates are high, and only urgent services will be provided at this time," the statement said.

The occupancy rate at the Chalmers hospital is 95 per cent.

The occupancy rates at the other hospitals in Zone 3 are also high:

  • Oromocto Public Hospital: 98 per cent.

  • Upper River Valley Hospital: 121 per cent.

Latest public exposures

Public Health has identified a potential public exposure to the coronavirus at the following locations and dates in the Fredericton region:

Fredericton:

  • Montana's, 6 Trinity Ave., on May 2, between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

  • Wolastoq Wharf, 527 Union St., on May 9, between noon and 2:30 p.m.

  • McDonald's Restaurant, 1177 Prospect St., on May 14, between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m.

Harvey:

  • Kubbyhole Craft Shop, 1879 Route 3, on May 7, between 1 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Nackawic:

  • Cal's Independent Grocer, 135 Otis Dr., on May 14, between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Public Health has identified a potential public exposure to the virus at the following location and date in Edmundston:

  • Jean Coutu, 177 Victoria St., on May 15, between noon and 1 p.m.

Public Health has also identified a positive case in a traveller who may have been infectious while on the following flights:

  • Air Canada Flight 314 – from Vancouver to Montreal, departed at 11:24 p.m. on May 11.

  • Air Canada Flight 8902 – from Montreal to Moncton, departed at 1:06 p.m. on May 12.

No update on Magee House

Isolation for "a handful" of the people at Magee House residence at the University of New Brunswick Fredericton campus was expected to end Sunday.

But neither Department of Health nor UNB officials responded to a request for an update Monday. UNB did not post any update on its website or through social media either.

The outbreak at the 101-unit apartment-style residence was declared on April 27, after six cases were confirmed. Residents told CBC News they were notified about the first positive case on April 22.

At least 13 cases have since been linked to the outbreak that involves the highly contagious COVID variant first recorded in India.

Magee House in Fredericton is a UNB residence with 101 apartment-style units for mature students, some of whom may have children.
Magee House in Fredericton is a UNB residence with 101 apartment-style units for mature students, some of whom may have children.(Ed Hunter/CBC)

Officials did not respond to a request for an update on the ventilation system Monday either.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jennifer Russell previously said a Public Health inspector and UNB engineers found "there was a teeny tiny chance that there could have been some cross-contamination with one particular component" of the ventilation system.

"So that was shut off [April 27]. And they won't be turning it back on until we give the go-ahead."

About 180 people live in the building, which is designed for mature students, some of whom have families.

Public Health officials believe surfaces in the elevator were the source of transmission in the outbreak.

The faculty of the departments of history and classics had requested a rent break for the isolating students at Magee House and some students at the Elizabeth Parr-Johnston residence, who also had to isolate up until May 5 at 11:59 p.m.

"The students who cannot work will lose a portion of their income," the letter to UNB president Paul Mazerolle states. "In addition, students might not be able to meet their monthly budgets because they must now rely exclusively on ordering necessities online, and thus have additional expenses with delivery charges and less control over buying lower cost items."

UNB spokesperson Heather Campbell has not responded to requests for comment on whether the rent break was approved.

Vaccine appointments today

The Horizon Health Network has vaccination appointments available today in the Sussex and Fredericton areas.

It posted on social media encouraging people aged 30 or older who are eligible to book an appointment.

Appointments can be booked online. Walk-in appointments are not available.

Revised case count

Public Health has revised the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in New Brunswick.

A case previously reported in the Bathurst region, Zone 6, had already been accounted for in another province, according to a news release.

Due to confidentiality provisions, the province where the case was previously recorded will not be identified, Public Health said.

Previous public exposures

Public Health has identified a public exposure in Fredericton.

  • Hilton Garden Inn Hotel and the Pickle Jar Restaurant, 620 Queen St., from May 11 to May 16.

The province has also listed another flight with a passenger who has tested positive for COVID-19 on May 7.

  • Air Canada Flight 318 – from Calgary to Montreal, departed at 11 a.m.

Public Health is offering COVID-19 testing to anyone who has been in a public exposure area, even it they're not experiencing any symptoms. Residents may request a test online or call Tele-Care 811 to book an appointment.

Other exposure notifications

Public Health has identified a positive case in a traveller who may have been infectious on May 6 while on the following flights:

  • Air Canada Flight 396 – from Edmonton to Toronto, departed at 6:50 a.m.

  • Air Canada Flight 8898 – from Toronto to Moncton, departed at 8:43 p.m.

Public Health has identified a positive case in a traveller who may have been infectious on May 10 while on the following flight.

  • Air Canada Flight 8946 from Toronto to Moncton, departed at 8:47 p.m.

Public Health has identified a potential public exposure to the coronavirus at the following locations and dates in the following regions:

Moncton region:

  • Pumphouse, 5 Orange Ln., Moncton, on May 4 between 8 and 10 p.m.

  • Staples, 233 Main St., Moncton, on May 5, between noon and 8 p.m.

  • Walmart Supercentre, 477 Paul St., Dieppe, on May 6, between 7 and 10 p.m.

  • Greco Pizza, 311 Acadie Blvd., Dieppe, on May 7, between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m.

  • Greco Pizza, 120 Killam Dr., Moncton, on May 5, between 5 p.m. and 1 a.m., May 3, between 5 p.m. and 1 a.m., and May 2, between 5 p.m. and 1 a.m.

  • Greco Pizza, 311 Acadie Blvd., Dieppe, on May 4, between 4 p.m. and 11 p.m.

  • Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre emergency department, 330 Université Ave., Moncton, on May 7, between 2-9:30 p.m., and May 6, between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Saint John region:

  • Foodland, 1 Market Sq., Quispamsis, on May 3, between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.

  • Circle K, 309 River Valley Dr., Grand Bay-Westfield, between 11:30 p.m. on Friday, May 7, and 1 a.m. on Saturday, May 8.

Fredericton region:

  • My Home Consignment, 5 Acorn St., Fredericton — May 8 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., May 7 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., May 6 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., and May 5 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

  • Sobeys, 1180 Prospect St., Fredericton, — May 8 between 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

  • Lunar Rogue, 625 King Ave., Fredericton — April 28 between 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

  • Fix Auto, 156 Greenview Dr., Hanwell — May 6 between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., April 30 between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., April 29 between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., and April 28 between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

  • Lunar Rogue, 625 King St., Fredericton, on April 28, between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m.

  • Fix Auto, 156 Greenview Dr., Hanwell, on May 6, between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., April 30, between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., April 29, between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and April 28, between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

  • McDonald's Restaurant, 1177 Prospect St., on May 5, at 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.

  • McDonald's Restaurant in Walmart, 125 Two Nations Crossing, on May 6, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

  • Brainfix Clinic, 56 Avonlea Crt., on May 6.

  • Adica Massage Clinic, 152 King St., on May 6.

  • Williams Chiropractic, 169 Main St., on May 6.

  • Simms Home Hardware Building Centre, 190 King St., on May 6.

  • Costco Gas Bar, 5 Wayne Squibb Blvd., on May 6.

  • Massage Experts, 169 Dundonald St., on May 6, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and on May 7, from 10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

  • Delta Fredericton, 225 Woodstock Rd., on May 6-12.

  • STMR. 36 Restaurant – Delta Fredericton, 225 Woodstock Rd., on May 6-12.

  • Jack's Pizza, 379 King St., on May 7, at 1 p.m.

  • Mitch Clarke Skate Park, 116 Johnston Ave., on May 7, from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.

  • Garrison Skatepark, York Street parking lot, on May 7, from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.

  • James Joyce Pub, 659 Queen St., on May 7, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

  • McDonald's Restaurant, 94 Main St., on May 7, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and May 8, from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

  • Princess Auto, 21 Trinity Ave., on May 8, from 8 a.m. to noon.

  • Fredericton Public Library, 12 Carleton St., on May 8, from 10 a.m. to noon.

  • Northside Market, 170 Main St., on May 9, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

  • Irving Oil, 181 King St., on May 9, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

  • Dollarama, 5 Trinity Dr., on May 9, from noon to 2 p.m.

  • NB Liquor, 18 Trinity Dr., on May 9, from noon to 5 p.m.

  • Home Sense, 18 Trinity Dr., on May 9, from noon to 5 p.m.

  • Tim Hortons drive-thru, Regent Street, on May 10, at 1:30 p.m.

  • Atlantic Superstore, 471 Smythe St, on May 10, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and May 11, from 10 a.m. to noon.

  • Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital, 700 Priestman St., on May 10-11.

  • Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation, 800 Priestman St., on May 10-11.

  • Veterans Health Unit, 680 Priestman St., on May 10-11.

  • Shoppers Drug Mart, 1040 Prospect St., on May 11, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

  • Scott's Nursery, 2192 Route 102, on May 8, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

What to do if you have a symptom

People concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test online.

Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included:

  • Fever above 38 C.

  • New cough or worsening chronic cough.

  • Sore throat.

  • Runny nose.

  • Headache.

  • New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell.

  • Difficulty breathing.

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

People with one of those symptoms should:

  • Stay at home.

  • Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor.

  • Describe symptoms and travel history.

  • Follow instructions.

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