Public Health reported seven new cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick on Tuesday.
There are four new cases in the Edmundston (Zone 4) region and three new cases in the Moncton (Zone 1) region, Public Health said in a news release.
Two of the Zone 4 cases are in people 19 years old or under, and the other two are in people 30 to 39. They are all contacts of a previously reported case, Public Health said.
Two of the Moncton region cases are in persons aged 30 to 39 years old. One is travel-related and the other is under investigation. The third case is in a person aged 19 and under and is travel-related.
All seven individuals are self-isolating.
The new cases bring the total number of active cases to 56, with one person in hospital. There have been a total of 1,505 confirmed cases in the province since the start of the pandemic, with 30 deaths.
Six people have recovered since Monday, making for 1,418 recoveries.
The province conducted 745 tests on Monday, with a total of 246,475 done since the start of the pandemic.
New exposure notices
New Brunswick Public Health also reported eight new exposure notices Tuesday, all in the Edmundston (Zone 4) region.
The times and locations are as follows:
March 22 between 7:45 a.m. and 2:25 p.m. – Burger King (10 Mahsus Ct., Edmundston)
March 21 between 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. – Burger King (10 Mahsus Ct., Edmundston)
March 20 between 6:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. – Burger King (10 Mahsus Ct., Edmundston)
March 21 between 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. – Superstore (577 Victoria St., Edmundston)
March 20 between 4:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. – Superstore (577 Victoria St., Edmundston)
March 19 between 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. – Superstore (577 Victoria St., Edmundston)
March 21 between 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. – Pizza Delight (185 Hébert Blvd., Edmundston)
March 20 between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. – Pizza Delight (185 Hébert Blvd., Edmundston)
The new exposure notices follow earlier notices Public Health issued for Edmundston on Monday. They include:
March 17 between 5 and 6:30 p.m. - Restaurant Poissonnerie Ouellet (350 Victoria St).
March 20 between noon and 12:45 p.m. - McDonald's Restaurant (190 Hébert Blvd.)
Confirmed U.K. variant at Moncton High School
Bruce Macfarlane, spokesperson for the Department of Health, said his department confirmed the UK variant of COVID-19 in a positive case within the school community.
He didn't say whether the case is a student or staff, citing Public Health's "responsibility to protect privacy" and adhere to the Personal Health Information Privacy and Access Act.
The school was closed Monday to let Public Health conduct contact tracing related to the case confirmed there on Monday.
The majority of that contact tracing has been completed and any staff or student impacted have been notified, said Greg Ingersoll, superintendent of Anglophone School District East, in a letter addressed to parents and students on Monday.
In order to complete contact tracing, the school was kept closed Tuesday and will remain closed on Wednesday, as well as Thursday, with students to engage in distance learning on those days, Ingersoll said, in his letter.
The school will also be closed on Friday, but that is to allow staff to attend vaccination clinics being held that day.
Ingersoll said the district intends to reopen the school on Monday.
Confirmed variant case at university
Macfarlane said a new case within Mount Allison University was also confirmed to be a case of the UK variant.
In response, Public Health has required that all non-essential in-person student and public activities at the university be cancelled, the university said, in a news release.
As a result, the university's libraries, archives, athletic and fitness centres and the pond are closed, the university said.
"Public Health has also requested that members of the Mount Allison community limit their non-essential activities as much as possible at this time and leave home only for classes, work, and necessary errands," the university said.
Mount Allison University said the individual who tested positive lives off-campus, but exposure notices have been listed for the following places and times:
Thornton House on Friday, March 19, from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Fitness Centre on Friday, March 19, from 5 to 8 p.m.
Premier defends vaccine rollout
Speaking to reporters at the legislature on Tuesday, Premier Blaine Higgs said he believes his government's vaccine rollout plan will be a success, even adding he thinks it can "exceed" its previous stated goal of providing at least one dose to everyone in the province who wants one before the end of June.
Higgs made those assertions after his main opponent in last fall's provincial election expressed concerns over the speed at which vaccines were being administered.
"I do not get a sense of urgency in getting vaccines distributed in NB. Rather a sense of complacency," tweeted Kevin Vickers, former leader of the Liberal party, who resigned after failing to win the riding of Miramichi in September.
On Tuesday, Higgs pointed to the province's push to vaccinate about 4,500 high school staff this week as an example of the rollout plan's success.
"So I'm pretty comfortable that we'll have an outcome here that we all feel good about," Higgs said. "And the last thing I'm going to do is just throw barbs at the people that are doing it for us."
School vaccination clinics
The province closed 17 schools in the Kennebecasis Valley and Miramichi regions Tuesday in order to vaccinate high school staff in those areas.
They're part of the roughly 4,500 high school staff the province plans to vaccinate in clinics being held in different regions in New Brunswick from Monday to Friday.
The clinics are being held as the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development plans to get all high school students attending full-time in-person classes by April 12.
On Wednesday, the following high schools in the Fredericton region will be closed to allow staff there to get their shots:
Chipman Forest Avenue School
Fredericton High School
Leo Hayes High School in Fredericton
Cambridge-Narrows Community School
Central New Brunswick Academy in New Bandon
Minto Memorial High School
Stanley Consolidated School
Harvey High School
McAdam High School
Nackawic Senior High School
Oromocto High School
École Sainte-Anne in Fredericton
Vaccination clinics will be held for high school staff in the Saint John region on Thursday, staff in the Tracadie and Moncton regions on Friday, and Shediac, Bathurst and Campbellton regions on Monday.
"In the coming weeks, additional vaccination clinics will be available for staff in elementary and middle schools and for early childhood service providers and child-care staff as part of the large employer section of the vaccine rollout plan," Public Health said.
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:
A fever above 38 C.
A new cough or worsening chronic cough.
New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell.
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.