New Brunswick officials have confirmed the province's fifth and sixth deaths related to COVID-19.
Public Health said one of the deaths was a person between 70 and 79 in the Moncton region (Zone 1), the other was between 40 and 49 and is from the Campbellton region (Zone 5). Both died because of "underlying complications" including COVID-19, according to a release issued by the province.
Premier Blaine Higgs said in a statement he expresses his condolences to the families and friends of the individuals.
"Today's news is a heartbreaking reminder that we all must do everything we can to slow and prevent the spread of this disease," he said.
Dalhousie Mayor Normand Pelletier said it was "extremely disappointing" to hear of another death in his region.
"It hurts when you see what happens with this virus," he said.
'Kind of a wake up call'
People in Dalhousie have been mourning the loss of a local man to COVID-19 last week. The death of Rheal Vautour, who was in his 70s, was announced on Wednesday.
Pelletier said he hopes there are no more deaths from the virus in the region and he is praying people take action to stop the spread.
"I think this is going to rattle a lot of people in the county, especially a young lady like this at 49 years of age," he said. "I think this is going to be kind of a wake up call."
The news comes as the Campbellton region grapples with an outbreak of COVID-19 placing it on the verge of returning to tighter restrictions. The area is the only part of the province under the orange-level recovery phase.
Members of the RCMP and peace officers with the Department of Justice and Department of Public Safety are monitoring the region this weekend for compliance with orange-level restrictions.
Coreen Enos, a Public Safety spokesperson, said five tickets have been issued for violation of the Emergency Measures Act.
Pelletier said residents should take heightened precautions and act as if they are under red-level restrictions.
"We've got to nip this down right away as soon as possible, if not it's going to continue to do havoc here," he said.
Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health, is visiting Restigouche County this weekend as mass testing for asymptomatic people is underway. She said in a statement she extends her "deepest sympathies" to everyone impacted in both regions.
"The impact this virus is having on all of us is indescribable," Russell said. "Kindness and compassion, along with strict adherence to two metre distancing, and mask use are how we will get through this together."
2 new cases
The province also confirmed two new cases of the virus on Sunday.
One is an individual between 40 and 49 in the Campbellton region, and the source of the infection in that case remains under investigation.The second new case is travel-related in an individual between 20 and 29 in the Fredericton region (Zone 3).
Public Health said both cases are self-isolating.
Four people are in the hospital in the province due to the virus.
Residents in Zone 5 have been asked to limit their contacts to a single-household bubble, plus a caregiver or member of their immediate family.
There have been 328 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick. There have been 257 recoveries.
Mass testing in Dalhousie
Public Health is making testing available in Dalhousie on Sunday for people without symptoms.
No appointment is necessary and asymptomatic people do not need to self-isolate while waiting for results, unless advised otherwise by Public Health.
Testing will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis until 7 p.m. at the Inch Arran Arena in Dalhousie.
M.P. René Arseneault, who represents Madawaska—Restigouche, went to get tested in Dalhousie as soon as the doors opened on Sunday.
He posted photos on Facebook of the lineup to get inside the building, as well as pictures inside the stadium. He said the whole process took less than an hour.
People with symptoms are asked to request a test online or call Tele-Care 811 for an appointment.
Mass testing was available in Campbellton on Saturday and drew large lines to the Memorial Civic Centre.
Alysha Elliott, a Public Health spokesperson, said about 1,300 people came to get tested at that location.
Elliot said Russell and other health officials plan to visit the region regularly in the coming weeks. But there are no plans to open an office in the area.
What to do if you have a symptom
People concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test on the government website at gnb.ca.
Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included: a fever above 38 C, a new cough 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 have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes.
People with one of those symptoms are asked to:
Stay at home.
Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor.
Describe symptoms and travel history.