Active cases climb again as N.B. reports 82 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday

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After a couple of days in decline, active COVID-19 infections headed in the wrong direction on Wednesday, Nov. 17, as Public Health’s daily update reported 82 new infections in the province.

The province now has 565 confirmed active COVID-19 cases.

The update also shows the continuing increase in the number of people under treatment for COVID-19 in hospitals and ICU.

After falling to the mid-teens in hospitalizations last week, the Wednesday update shows 30 people in hospital, including 16 in ICU.

In Wednesday’s update, Public Health failed to mention the situation involving COVID outbreaks at seven New Brunswick First Nation communities, including Woodstock First Nation.

Tuesday’s update said members of Public Health’s Provincial Rapid Outbreak Management Team were in the communities to provide support, testing, and further assess the information.

Tuesday’s update also reported 16 cases at Woodstock First Nation, a number which officials at Woodstock First Nation described as “outdated.” They said the community has only two active cases.

The River Valley Sun reached out to the Department of Health to update the numbers at Woodstock First Nations and other communities. Department officials said they were checking for the information but have not responded as of 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Public Health reported in its Wednesday update that Zone 3, which covers Fredericton and Upper River Valley — including Woodstock, Kingsclear and Oromocto First Nations, where Public Health cited outbreaks — had 18 new infections.

Zone 2, the Saint John region, where Public Health removed circuit-breaker restrictions last Friday, reported the highest number of new infections in the province on Wednesday, with 23.

Zone 7, the Miramichi region, which went under circuit-breaker measures on Friday, reported 22 new cases.

One of the bright spots on Wednesday’s update was the numbers in Zone 1, the Moncton region, an area of concern for health officials.

The province extended the circuit breaker and increased enforcement in the tri-city area of Moncton, Dieppe and Riverview, where COVID-19 remained high, even after six weeks of enhanced restrictions.

On Wednesday, Public Health showed 14 new infections in Zone 1.

Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, took the decline in Zone 1 infections as a positive sign. Neither did she view the increase in numbers in Zone 2 as a reason for concern at this point.

“The number of new cases in Zone 1 is headed in the right direction, thanks to people in the Moncton region taking the steps necessary to keep themselves and their loved ones safe,” she said. “While we are seeing an increase in numbers in some areas, including Zone 2, the Saint John region, many of the cases are connected and already isolating.”

The breakdown of new infections per zone is as follows:

The 14 new cases in Zone 1 (Moncton region) are as follows:

Ten cases are under investigation, and four are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

The 23 new cases in Zone 2 (Saint John region) are as follows:

Fifteen cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases, and eight cases are under investigation.

The 18 new cases in Zone 3 (Fredericton region) are as follows:

Ten cases are under investigation, and eight are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

There is one case in Zone 4 (Edmundson region) of a person 19 and under. The case is a contact of a previously confirmed case.

The four cases in Zone 6 (Bathurst region) are as follows:

All four cases are contacts of a previously confirmed case.

The 22 new cases in Zone 7 (Miramichi region) are as follows:

Thirteen cases are under investigation, and nine are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, River Valley Sun

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