N.B. COVID-19 roundup: 1 new death, outbreaks at 2 facilities

·6 min read
Dr. Jennifer Russell asked New Brunswickers to be patient as the province moves through this next stage of the vaccine rollout, which will see the largest age demographic group vaccinated.  (Government of New Brunswick - image credit)
Dr. Jennifer Russell asked New Brunswickers to be patient as the province moves through this next stage of the vaccine rollout, which will see the largest age demographic group vaccinated. (Government of New Brunswick - image credit)

New Brunswick has lost another resident to COVID-19. Public Health confirmed Wednesday that an individual between the ages of 60 and 69 in the Saint John region, Zone 2, has died as a result of the disease.

This brings the total number of COVID-related deaths in the province to 34.

In a news release, Dr. Jennifer Russell and Health Minister Dorothy Shephard extended their sympathies to the victim's loved ones.

"I am saddened to learn that another individual has lost their life as a result of COVID-19," Shephard said. "On behalf of all New Brunswickers, I share my sincere condolences with the family and friends of this person."

There are currently 138 active cases in New Brunswick.
There are currently 138 active cases in New Brunswick.(CBC News)

Seven new cases reported

Seven new cases were reported, affecting four zones, on Wednesday.

The cases break down in this way:

Moncton region, Zone 1, one case:

  • an individual 20 to 29. This case is travel-related.

Saint John region, Zone 2, two cases:

  • an individual 50 to 59.

  • an individual 90 or over.

Both of these cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

Edmundston region, Zone 4, three cases:

  • an individual 19 or under.

  • an individual 40 to 49.

  • an individual 50 to 59.

Two of the three cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases and the other one is under investigation.

Miramichi region, Zone 7, one case:

  • an individual 40 to 49. This case is travel-related.

The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 1,804. Since Tuesday, seven people have recovered for a total of 1,631 recoveries. There have been 34 deaths, and the number of active cases is 138.

Fifteen patients are hospitalized, including five in an intensive care unit. A total of 278,711 tests have been conducted, including 1,005 since Tuesday's report.

Elsewhere in Atlantic Canada:

Outbreaks declared at two homes

Outbreaks have been declared at two special care homes following a confirmed case of COVID-19 at each facility.

The affected facilities are Pavillon Beau-Lieu, a special care home in Grand Falls in the Edmundston region, and Murray Street Lodge in Grand Bay-Westfield in the Saint John region.

Members of the provincial rapid outbreak management team have been sent to provide support for residents and the facilities' care teams, Public Health said in a news release Wednesday.

Possible exposure at child-care facility

A possible exposure to a positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at Garderie Happy Feet Daycare in Grand Falls, in the Edmundston region.

Families who have been affected have been notified, Public Health said Wednesday.

"If you do not hear directly from Public Health, you have not been identified as a close contact," the department said in a news release.

Health Minister Dorothy Shephard asked New Brunswickers to "be patient" as the province begins to vaccinate its largest age demographic, those 65 and older. "These appointments can fill up quite quickly," she said.
Health Minister Dorothy Shephard asked New Brunswickers to "be patient" as the province begins to vaccinate its largest age demographic, those 65 and older. "These appointments can fill up quite quickly," she said.(Government of New Brunswick)

Why this next stage of the rollout will take some time

If you're 65 or older, you can now book an appointment to get your COVID-19 vaccination.

Odds are, you've already tried doing just that — and might have had a little trouble booking one.

That's not a surprise to Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Russell and Health Minister Dorothy Shephard, who have both made a point of asking this particular age group to pack a little patience as they queue up for the jab.

The 65-and-up group is the largest demographic group in the province, so the sheer volume of callers and online bookers will mean it takes longer to get through this stage of the rollout.

"These appointments can fill up quite quickly," Shephard said Tuesday in announcing the new age group's eligibility.

"We know that the phones start ringing from the time we announce it at this press conference."

But there are other reasons booking an appointment might take a few tries.

"Keep in mind this is a really complex rollout," Russell told Information Morning Moncton Wednesday. "There are a lot of moving parts, recommendations change, prioritizations change."

Russell noted there are "things we don't have control over, such as a Moderna shipment being delayed," as well as the fact that many pharmacies are already fully booked for appointments through the next few weeks.

However, she said, the province is still on track for administering a first dose to every New Brunswicker who wants one by July 1.

"We do ask people to be patient," Russell said. "I don't imagine that once an age category is introduced it will take more than a few weeks to get it done."

If you are 65 or over and want to book a vaccine appointment, there are several ways you can do so. Here's how:

  • Book online at gnb.ca/bookavaccine

  • Call 1-833-437-1424

  • Contact a participating pharmacy

New possible exposure warnings

Public Health has identified potential public exposures to the virus at the following locations:

  • E.& P. Sénéchal Center, Vitalité Health Network vaccination clinic, 60 Ouellette St., Grand Falls, on Monday, April 19 between1:15 p.m. and 7 p.m.

  • Holy Spirit Parish (Saint Matthews worship site), 45 Dollard Dr., Saint John, on Sunday, April 18 between 11 a.m. and noon.

Previous potential exposure notifications

Public Health has identified recent possible public exposures to COVID-19 in Edmundston:

  • Familiprix, 131 de l'Église St., on April 8, between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

  • Jean Coutu, 77 Victoria St., Edmundston on April 16, between 1: 30 p.m. and 2 p.m.; on April 14, between noon and 12:45 p.m.; and on April 12, between 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Public Health also identified a traveller who may have been infected while on the following flights on April 14 and 15:

  • Air Canada Flight 8970 – from Ottawa to Montreal, departed at 6:28 a.m. on April 14.

  • Air Canada Flight 8898 – from Montreal to Moncton, departed at 8:14 a.m. on April 14.

  • Air Canada Flight 318 – from Calgary to Montreal, departed at 11:53 a.m. on April 15.

  • Air Canada Flight 8906 – from Montreal to Moncton, departed at 7:08 p.m. on April 15.

People who were at these areas are eligible to be tested for COVID-19, even if they are not experiencing symptoms.

Corrected possible exposures

The dates and times for some recent possible public exposures in Saint John have changed on the government's website.

"Through follow-up tracing work [Monday], it turns the individuals provided the wrong dates by mistake," Department of Health spokesperson Bruce Macfarlane said in an email.

The new information information includes:

  • Service New Brunswick, 15 King Square North, on April 15 between 3 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.

  • Rocky's Sports Bar, 7 Market Square, on April 15 between 4 p.m. and 6 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.