Don't watch the Super Bowl in large groups: New Brunswick health officials

·2 min read

FREDERICTON — New Brunswick health officials on Thursday urged residents not to gather in groups this weekend to watch the Super Bowl.

Health Minister Dorothy Shephard and chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell said if people do want to watch Sunday's game together, gatherings should be as small as possible.

"I am asking you to limit your gatherings over the weekend to your immediate household or your steady 10," Russell said, referring to the bubble of people permitted in the province's orange zones.

She told a news conference in Fredericton that hard lessons were learned after large gatherings during the Christmas and New Year's season resulted in a spike in COVID-19 cases.

"No one wants their Super Bowl party to turn into a super-spreader event," Russell said.

Officials reported 16 new cases of COVID-19 in the province Thursday.

The province has 256 active reported cases and five people are hospitalized with the disease, including two in intensive care.

Shephard said infections are trending downward in both the Moncton and Edmundston regions, which are under higher pandemic-alert levels than the rest of the province.

The Moncton region is at the red level, while the Edmundston region is under a lockdown.

Shephard said restrictions in those two regions will be reassessed on Monday.

"If everyone does their part, I'm confident the entire province will be back in orange very soon," she said.

Russell said mass testing of residents and staff at the Manoir Belle Vue long-term care home was being done Thursday while similar tests were done at the Villa Des Jardins Wednesday. She said officials are awaiting results from both Edmundston facilities.

Meanwhile a positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at a child care facility in Edmundston. The Garderie Melubulles will close for the next two days to allow for contact tracing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 4, 2021.

The Canadian Press