The province has seven new cases of COVID-19 and more than half of eligible New Brunswickers have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, Public Health reported Thursday.
A total of 351,205 people, or 50.7 per cent, of people aged 12 or older, have had at least one shot, according to the province's dashboard.
Of the three Maritime provinces, New Brunswick has the highest percentage of its population vaccinated for first doses, said Department of Health spokesperson Shawn Berry.
In Nova Scotia, it's about 46 per cent and in P.E.I. it's roughly 44 per cent.
New Brunswick's goal has been to have at least one dose in the arms of all eligible New Brunswickers by July 1, and second doses by September.
"With more vaccine arriving in the province, we are on track to start second doses by mid-June which will be slightly ahead of the 14-week interval," Berry said in an emailed statement.
Premier Blaine Higgs told reporters he's "feeling good" about the vaccination rate. He noted another single-day record was set Thursday, with some 12,000 doses administered.
Zone 1, Moncton region
Zone 2, Saint John region
Zone 3, Fredericton region
Zone 4, Edmundston region
Zone 5, Campbellton region
Zone 6, Bathurst region
Zone 7, Miramichi region
Earlier this week, the province opened up eligibility to include people aged 18 and older.
Education Minister Dominic Cardy has said the province hopes to lower the eligibility age even further in the coming days. His department is working with Public Health on a vaccine rollout plan for all those 12 or older.
Children aged 12 to 15 who have a complex medical condition or two or more chronic conditions are already eligible.
117 active cases
Since Wednesday, six more New Brunswickers have recovered from COVID-19, putting the province's total number of active cases at 117, said Public Health.
Six people are hospitalized in New Brunswick, including two in an intensive care unit. Another resident is hospitalized out of province in an intensive care unit.
The breakdown of the seven new cases reported Thursday is as follows:
Moncton region, Zone 1, two cases:
A person 40-49.
A person 70-79.
Both cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases.
Fredericton region, Zone 3, two cases:
A person 19 or under.
A person 30-39.
Both cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases.
Bathurst region, Zone 6, two cases:
Two people 20-29.
One case is travel-related and the other is a contact of a previously confirmed case.
Miramichi region, Zone 7, one case:
A person 20-29.
This case is under investigation.
New Brunswick has had 2,098 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, with 1,937 recoveries so far and 43 COVID-related deaths.
A total of 319,871 COVID tests have been conducted, including 1,581 on Wednesday.
'Steady as she goes' in Fredericton, says premier
Public Health will provide a live briefing on COVID-19 Friday, which will include an update on the situation in the Fredericton region, Zone 3, Higgs told reporters Thursday morning.
Fredericton is battling a growing cluster of cases at the Delta Fredericton, an outbreak at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital, Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation and Veterans Health Unit, positive cases at four schools and a child-care facility.
At least two COVID variants of concern are circulating — the one first reported in India and the one first reported in the U.K. Numerous potential public exposure notices have been issued and about 1,900 people are self-isolating, as of Wednesday.
As of that time, there was no plan to bump the region back to the orange or red COVID alert level, Higgs said.
"We're watching really closely and that could change quickly," he said. "But right now it's steady as she goes."
Higgs said he believe the vaccination rate has played a significant role in keeping case counts in the region in check. He drew a comparison to the earlier outbreak in the Edmundston region, Zone 4, which required a full lockdown.
"I think we were below 30 per cent at the time there, maybe in the lower 20s. So having a higher level vaccination rate in [the] city at this time has been, I would say, very helpful," he said.
Extended at-home learning for Leo Hayes students
All students at Leo Hayes High School in Fredericton will continue to learn online from home until next Wednesday, and return next Thursday to in-person learning as laid out in the school's rotational schedule, according to a notice sent to families Thursday afternoon.
"The continuation of online learning is in response to operational reasons related to staffing (many self-isolating) and in conjunction with the positive COVID-19 cases at the school," superintendent David McTimoney of the Anglophone West School District said in the email.
Two positive cases were detected at the school last Wednesday. A third positive case was confirmed at the school last weekend, but as of the last public update from government officials Tuesday, Public Health has found no in-school transmission.
The school has more than 1,500 students in grades 9 to 12, according to its website.
If any children are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, McTimoney said parents should request a test online for them or call Tele-Care 811.
"A sincere thanks for your patience and resilience throughout this time," he said.
66 Horizon staff off in Fredericton
Sixty-six Horizon Health Network employees in the Fredericton area are off work Thursday because of the COVID-19 outbreak at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital, Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation and Veterans Health Unit.
That's 18 more than Wednesday.
The hospital has two COVID-19 patients and is at 86 per cent capacity, according to an update posted by the regional health authority.
The occupancy rates at the other hospitals in the Fredericton region "remain high," Horizon said. The Oromocto Public Hospital is listed at 100 per cent, and the Upper River Valley Hospital, 117 per cent.
New public exposures
Public Health has identified potential public exposures to the coronavirus at the following locations and dates in the Fredericton region:
Scholten's, 325 Sunset Dr., Fredericton, on May 17 between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Atlantic Superstore, 116 Main St., Fredericton, on May 16 between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Progressive Credit Union, 395 Connell Rd., Woodstock, on May 13, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
A&W, 1018 Prospect St., Fredericton, on May 12, between noon and 2 p.m.
University of New Brunswick Fredericton campus, residence administration building, 20 Bailey Dr., Fredericton, on May 11 and May 12, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Sobeys, 463 Brookside Dr., Fredericton, on May 11, between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Public Health is offering COVID-19 testing to anyone who has been in a public exposure area, even it they're not experiencing any symptoms. Residents may request a test online or call Tele-Care 811 to book an appointment.
People experiencing one or more symptom are also encouraged to get tested.
Previous public exposures
Tony Pepperoni, 510 Brookside Dr., on May 11, between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
The Drome, 301 Main St., on May 11, between 8:45 p.m. and 11 p.m.
NB Power, 515 King St., on May 12, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Sobeys Fast Fuel, 530 Brookside Dr., on May 12, between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Costco, 25 Wayne Squibb Blvd., on May 12, between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. and May 13, between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Giant Tiger, 1160 Smythe St., on May 13, between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Scholten's, 325 Sunset Dr., on May 13, between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
McMath Law Office, 406 Regent St., on May 14, between 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
Fredericton Mitsubishi, 327 St. Mary's St., on May 14, between 10:45 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Pizza Delight, 243 St. Mary's St., on May 14, between noon and 2 p.m.
The Abbey Café, 546 Queen St., on May 14, between noon and 12:30 p.m.
Scotiabank, 490 King St., on May 14, between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Sobeys, 1180 Prospect St., on May 14, between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Cannon's Cross Pub, 15 Riverside Dr., on May 14, between 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Fredericton Boyce Farmers Market, 665 George St., on May 15 between 10 a.m. and noon
Moores Clothing, 1150 Prospect St., on May 15, between 11 a.m. and noon.
Home Depot, 1450 Regent St., on May 15, between noon and 1 p.m.
Montana's, 6 Trinity Ave., on May 2, between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Wolastoq Wharf, 527 Union St., on May 9, between noon and 2:30 p.m.
McDonald's Restaurant, 1177 Prospect St., on May 14, between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m.
Hilton Garden Inn Hotel and the Pickle Jar Restaurant, 620 Queen St., from May 11 to May 16
Kubbyhole Craft Shop, 1879 Route 3, on May 7, between 1 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Cal's Independent Grocer, 135 Otis Dr., on May 14, between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Irving Big Stop Blue Canoe restaurant, 415 Nevers Rd., on May 14, between 10:30 a.m. and noon.
Public Health has identified a potential public exposure to the virus at the following location and date in Edmundston:
Jean Coutu, 177 Victoria St., on May 15, between noon and 1 p.m.
Public Health has identified a positive case in a traveller who may have been infectious while on the following flights:
Air Canada Flight 314 – from Vancouver to Montreal, departed at 11:24 p.m. on May 11.
Air Canada Flight 8902 – from Montreal to Moncton, departed at 1:06 p.m. on May 12.
The province has also listed another flight with a passenger who has tested positive for COVID-19 on May 7.
Air Canada Flight 318 – from Calgary to Montreal, departed at 11 a.m.
Other exposure notifications
Public Health has identified a positive case in a traveller who may have been infectious on May 6 while on the following flights:
Air Canada Flight 396 – from Edmonton to Toronto, departed at 6:50 a.m.
Air Canada Flight 8898 – from Toronto to Moncton, departed at 8:43 p.m.
Public Health has identified a positive case in a traveller who may have been infectious on May 10 while on the following flight.
Air Canada Flight 8946 from Toronto to Moncton, departed at 8:47 p.m.
Public Health has identified a potential public exposure to the coronavirus at the following locations and dates in the following regions:
Pumphouse, 5 Orange Ln., Moncton, on May 4 between 8 and 10 p.m.
Staples, 233 Main St., Moncton, on May 5, between noon and 8 p.m.
Walmart Supercentre, 477 Paul St., Dieppe, on May 6, between 7 and 10 p.m.
Greco Pizza, 311 Acadie Blvd., Dieppe, on May 7, between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m.
Greco Pizza, 120 Killam Dr., Moncton, on May 5, between 5 p.m. and 1 a.m., May 3, between 5 p.m. and 1 a.m., and May 2, between 5 p.m. and 1 a.m.
Greco Pizza, 311 Acadie Blvd., Dieppe, on May 4, between 4 p.m. and 11 p.m.
Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre emergency department, 330 Université Ave., Moncton, on May 7, between 2-9:30 p.m., and May 6, between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Saint John region:
Foodland, 1 Market Sq., Quispamsis, on May 3, between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Circle K, 309 River Valley Dr., Grand Bay-Westfield, between 11:30 p.m. on Friday, May 7, and 1 a.m. on Saturday, May 8.
My Home Consignment, 5 Acorn St., Fredericton — May 8 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., May 7 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., May 6 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., and May 5 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Sobeys, 1180 Prospect St., Fredericton, — May 8 between 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Lunar Rogue, 625 King Ave., Fredericton — April 28 between 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Fix Auto, 156 Greenview Dr., Hanwell — May 6 between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., April 30 between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., April 29 between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., and April 28 between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Lunar Rogue, 625 King St., Fredericton, on April 28, between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m.
Fix Auto, 156 Greenview Dr., Hanwell, on May 6, between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., April 30, between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., April 29, between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and April 28, between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
McDonald's Restaurant, 1177 Prospect St., on May 5, at 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.
McDonald's Restaurant in Walmart, 125 Two Nations Crossing, on May 6, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Brainfix Clinic, 56 Avonlea Crt., on May 6.
Adica Massage Clinic, 152 King St., on May 6.
Williams Chiropractic, 169 Main St., on May 6.
Simms Home Hardware Building Centre, 190 King St., on May 6.
Costco Gas Bar, 5 Wayne Squibb Blvd., on May 6.
Massage Experts, 169 Dundonald St., on May 6, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and on May 7, from 10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Delta Fredericton, 225 Woodstock Rd., on May 6-12.
STMR. 36 Restaurant – Delta Fredericton, 225 Woodstock Rd., on May 6-12.
Jack's Pizza, 379 King St., on May 7, at 1 p.m.
Mitch Clarke Skate Park, 116 Johnston Ave., on May 7, from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Garrison Skatepark, York Street parking lot, on May 7, from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.
James Joyce Pub, 659 Queen St., on May 7, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
McDonald's Restaurant, 94 Main St., on May 7, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and May 8, from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Princess Auto, 21 Trinity Ave., on May 8, from 8 a.m. to noon.
Fredericton Public Library, 12 Carleton St., on May 8, from 10 a.m. to noon.
Northside Market, 170 Main St., on May 9, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Irving Oil, 181 King St., on May 9, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Dollarama, 5 Trinity Dr., on May 9, from noon to 2 p.m.
NB Liquor, 18 Trinity Dr., on May 9, from noon to 5 p.m.
Home Sense, 18 Trinity Dr., on May 9, from noon to 5 p.m.
Tim Hortons drive-thru, Regent Street, on May 10, at 1:30 p.m.
Atlantic Superstore, 471 Smythe St, on May 10, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and May 11, from 10 a.m. to noon.
Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital, 700 Priestman St., on May 10-11.
Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation, 800 Priestman St., on May 10-11.
Veterans Health Unit, 680 Priestman St., on May 10-11.
Shoppers Drug Mart, 1040 Prospect St., on May 11, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Scott's Nursery, 2192 Route 102, on May 8, from 3 p.m. to 5 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.
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.