N.B. COVID-19 roundup: 16 new cases, everyone should be wearing masks now, doctor says

·12 min read
You don't have to wear a mask in many public places in the green phase of recovery, but you should wear one anyway, one doctor advises. (CBC News file photo - image credit)
You don't have to wear a mask in many public places in the green phase of recovery, but you should wear one anyway, one doctor advises. (CBC News file photo - image credit)

A few months ago, we thought hitting a 75 per cent vaccination rate was going to change everything.

But as a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections moves in, and our understanding of the vaccines changes, experts are saying 75 per cent isn't high enough — and some are saying the vaccination rate itself should not be our sole focus.

According to CBC medical columnist Dr. Peter Lin, there's a simple, four-letter solution to curbing to the fourth wave of infections: mask.

"Everyone, and I mean everyone," should be wearing a mask, whether the current rules require it and whether they're vaccinated or not, Lin said in an interview on Information Morning Fredericton on Wednesday.

The issue, Lin said, is that herd immunity only works when vaccinated people can't get the virus and can't infect others.

We've since learned that isn't the case with COVID-19 vaccines.

"The CDC has said vaccinated people can still get infected if they're exposed to the virus," Lin said. "They're much less likely to get sick" and may have mild or no symptoms at all, "but they can still pass on the virus."

He noted that in Israel, "there's lots of vaccinated people there, and yet they're at about 8,000 cases per day on average," he said, noting a similar trend in the United States, with "almost three times as many cases this year during Labour Day versus last year."

Those climbing infection rates may be partly attributable to the fact that the Centres for Disease Control had told people they no longer had to wear masks if they were vaccinated, Lin said.

"That might explain why their cases are so high down in the U.S., and so they've told people to put your mask back on. But it's a bit late."

CBC
CBC

As well, children under 12 are not eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19, so the vaccinated adults in their lives can spread the virus to them, and they can spread it to others.

The answer is "very simple," Lin said. "If [people] wear their mask and do their distancing, they won't spread."

Lin advises making a conscious effort to "avoid the breath of other people" as cases climb during the fourth wave.

"Think about your day," he said. Lunch time, for example, is "high risk," so strive to have fewer people sharing a lunchroom at one time, use plastic dividers, avoid directly facing each other while eating.

In tight spaces, such as on a bus, "turn a little bit to your left or right" to avoid directly facing another person.

"Vaccination is still a good message, but it can't be the only message anymore," Lin said. "So that means everyone, and I mean everyone, needs to keep the mask on and keep their distance."

Under current green phase rules in New Brunswick, which took effect on July 30, people don't have to wear masks in public, although they can choose to.

And under the province's Education Department back-to-school plan, unveiled on Aug. 20, all students are required to wear a mask on school buses and in all common areas outside their classroom.

The plan also requires students and staff to wear a mask if they have one symptom of COVID-19.

Daycare staff and children over two years of age are required to wear masks in common indoor areas and on buses starting Sept. 7, the province says.

16 new cases, 76.3% fully vaccinated

There are 16 new cases of COVID-19 in the province Wednesday, and hospitalizations have risen from four to five, Public Health said in a news release.

Of those five people in hospital, four are in intensive care, up from three on Tuesday.

The number of active cases dropped to 112 Wednesday, from 125 on Tuesday.

As of Wednesday, 76.3 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and 85.2 per cent have received their first dose of a vaccine.

The 16 new cases break down in this way:

Moncton region, Zone 1, six cases:

  • four people 20 to 29

  • a person 30 to 39

  • a person 40 to 49

Four cases are under investigation and two are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

Fredericton region, Zone 3, three cases:

  • a person 20 to 29

  • a person 30 to- 39

  • a person 40 to 49

Two cases are travel-related and one is under investigation.

Edmundston region, Zone 4, one case:

  • a person 19 or under

This case is under investigation.

Campbellton region, Zone 5, two cases:

  • a person 19 or under

  • a person 50 to 59

Both cases are under investigation.

Bathurst region, Zone 6, two cases:

  • a person 19 or under

  • a person 40 to 49

Both cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

Miramichi region, Zone 7, two cases:

  • a person 19 or under

  • a person 50 to 59

One case is a contact of a previously confirmed case and one case is under investigation.

New public exposure notices

Public Health has identified places in New Brunswick where people may have been exposed to the coronavirus during the past two weeks.

Moncton region, Zone 1:

  • Sept. 4 between 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. – Kelsey's Restaurant, 141 Trinity Dr., Moncton

  • Sept. 4 between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. – Nita's Bar and Grill, 1999 Mountain Rd., Moncton

Fredericton region, Zone 3:

  • Sept. 4 between 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. – Upper Miramichi Rural Community Park, 6094 Route 8, Boiestown

Campbellton region, Zone 5:

  • Sept. 4 – Restigouche Golf and Country Club, 30565 McLeods Rte. 134, Campbellton

Bathurst region, Zone 6:

  • Sept. 4 between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. – Studio Olympus, 1079 Principale Rd., Beresford

Previous exposure notices

Public Health has identified a positive case of COVID-19 in a person who may have been infectious while on the following flights:

  • Aug. 26 – Air Canada Flight 8946 from Toronto to Moncton departed at 11:30 p.m.

  • Aug. 29 – Air Canada Flight 8496 – from Toronto to Saint John departed at 2:56 p.m.

  • Aug. 27 – Air Canada Flight 8904 – from Montreal to Moncton, departed at 10:28 p.m.

  • Aug. 24 – Air Canada Flight 8904 – from Montreal to Moncton, departed at 8 p.m.

  • Aug. 21 – Air Canada Flight 7548 – from Toronto to Fredericton departed at 10:25 p.m.

Public Health has also identified places in New Brunswick where people may have been exposed to the coronavirus during the past two weeks.

Moncton region, Zone 1:

  • Sept.4 between 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. – Champlain Mall, 477 Paul St., Dieppe

  • Sept. 1 between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. – The Third Glass Bar, 819 Main St., Moncton

  • Aug. 31 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. – 24/7 Fitness Club, 121 Pine Glen Rd., Riverview

  • Aug. 31 between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. – Wise Guyz Pub, 176 Robinson St., Moncton

  • Aug. 28 – Hynes Restaurant, 495 Mountain Rd., Moncton

  • Aug. 28 between 1:15 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. – Dollarama, 105 Main St., Moncton

  • Aug. 28 between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. – Superstore, 165 Main St., Moncton

  • Aug. 27 between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. – Costco, 140 Granite Dr., Moncton

  • Aug. 26 between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. – Catch 22, 589 Main St., Moncton

  • Aug. 25 between 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. – Homestead Restaurant (358 Coverdale Rd., Riverview)

  • Aug. 25 between 8 p.m. and midnight – Miss Cue, 459 Mountain Rd., Moncton

  • Aug. 24 between 5:47 p.m. and 3:52 a.m. – Moncton City Hospital Emergency Room, 135 Macbeath Ave., Moncton

  • Aug. 22 between 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. – Dixie Lee Family Restaurant, 9369 Main St., Richibucto

  • Aug. 22 between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. – St. James' Gate, 200 Golf St., Dieppe

  • Aug. 20 between 10:30 p.m. and 1 a.m. – Casino NB, 21 Casino Dr., Moncton

  • Aug. 20 between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. – Costco Wholesale Moncton, 140 Granite Dr., Moncton

  • Aug. 20 between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. – Guy's Frenchys, 1567 Mountain Rd., Moncton

  • Aug. 20 between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. – Pump House Restaurant, 51 Orange Lane, Moncton

  • Aug. 15 between 7:45 a.m. and 8:45 a.m., Aug. 17 between noon and 1 p.m., Aug.18 between noon and 1 p.m. and Aug. 19 between noon and 1 p.m. – Route 51 Green Line and Route 62 Hildegard Codiac Transpo, 140 Millennium Blvd., Moncton

  • Aug. 18 between 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. – Igloo Bar, 300 Elmwood Dr., Moncton

  • Aug.18 between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Aug, 16 between 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., Aug. 13 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Aug. 11 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Aug. 10 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. - Crowne Plaza Moncton, 1005 Main St., Moncton

  • Aug. 17 between 4 p.m. and 11 p.m. – Tide and Boar Brewing, 1355 Main St., Moncton

  • Aug. 16 between 5 and 7 p.m. – Boathouse Restaurant, 8588 Main St., Alma

  • Aug. 16 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. – Burger King, 465 Paul St., Dieppe

  • Aug. 16 between 12 p.m and 7 p.m – Magic Mountain Water Park, 2875 Mountain Rd., Moncton

Saint John region, Zone 2:

  • Sept. 1 between 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. – Costco, 300 Retail Dr., Saint John

  • Aug. 26 between 8:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. – O'Leary's Pub, 46 Princess St., Saint John

  • Aug. 17 and 18 – Fairway Inn and JJ's Diner, 216 Roachville Rd., Sussex

  • Aug. 17 between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.– On the Vine Produce, 1350 Hickey Rd., Saint John

  • Aug. 17 between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.– Greco, 1350 Hickey Rd., Saint John

  • Aug. 16 between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. – Gateway Mall, 138 Main St., Sussex

Fredericton region, Zone 3:

  • Sept. 2 between 6:30 p.m. and 7:10 p.m. – Wetmore Street Pub, 530 New Maryland Highway, New Maryland

  • Aug. 28 between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. – The MacShack (22 Irishtown Rd., Stanley)

  • Aug. 26 between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. – Valley Veterinary Hospital (2024 Lincoln Rd., Fredericton)

  • Aug. 25 between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. – Shear Beauty Salon & Spa (155 King St., Fredericton)

  • Aug. 25 between noon and 9 p.m. – Valley Veterinary Hospital (2024 Lincoln Rd., Fredericton)

  • Aug. 23 and 24 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. – Valley Veterinary Hospital (2024 Lincoln Rd., Fredericton)

  • Aug. 22 between 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. – Riverbend Golf Course, 541 Route 628, Durham Bridge

  • Aug. 21 between noon and 2 p.m. – Boston Pizza, 1230 Prospect St., Fredericton

  • Aug. 20 between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. – Ayr Motor Express, 46 Poplar St., Woodstock

Edmundston region, Zone 4:

  • Aug. 28 between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. – Walmart, 805 Victoria Rd., Edmundston

  • Between Aug. 20 and Aug. 27 – Camping St-Léonard, 470 Route 17, Saint-Léonard

  • Between Aug. 20 and Aug. 27 – Pinky's Roadside Diner, 470 Route 17, Saint-Léonard

  • Aug. 26 – Marché Bonichoix Saint-Quentin, 145 Canada Rd., Saint-Quentin

  • Aug. 25 and 26 between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. – Hotel Dieu Saint-Joseph de Saint-Quentin Hospital, 21 Canada Rd., Saint-Quentin

Campbellton region, Zone 5:

  • Aug. 30 to Sept. 4 – Chubby's Barber Shop, 81 A Roseberry St., Campbellton

  • Aug. 28 between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. – Irving, 173 Renfrew St., Dalhousie

  • Aug. 27 between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. – Brasserie 1026 Bar & Grill, 157 Water St., Campbellton

  • Aug. 24 – Sport Expert, 100 Roseberry St., Campbellton

  • Aug. 24 between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. - Inch Aaran Park, 125 Inch Arran Ave., Dalhousie

  • Aug. 24 between 9:30 a.m. to noon – Sugarloaf Mall, 312 Val D'amour Rd., Campbellton

  • Aug. 24 at 8:30 a.m. – Circle K Irving, 143 Val D'Amour Rd., Campbellton

Bathurst region, Zone 6:

  • Sept. 2 between 10 p.m. and 12:15 a.m. – Dooly's, 426 B St., Tracadie-Sheila

  • Aug. 30 between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. – Sobeys, 1125 St. Peter Ave., Bathurst

  • Aug. 28 between 10 a.m. and noon – Pur & Simple, 930 St. Anne St., Bathurst

  • Aug. 27 between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. – Épicerie Frenette, 625 Principale Rd., Beresford

  • Aug. 26 between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. – Joey's Pub & Eatery, 2050 St. Peter Ave., Bathurst

  • Aug. 24 between noon and 4 p.m. – Marshall, 700 St. Peter Ave., Bathurst

  • Aug. 24 between noon and 4 p.m. – Urban Behavior, 1300 St. Peter Ave., Bathurst

  • Aug. 23 – Camping Colibri, 913 Acadiens Blv., Route 11, Bertrand

  • Aug. 23 between 9 a.m. and noon – Dollorama, 445 St. Pierre Blv., Caraquet

  • Aug. 23 – Walmart, 900 St. Anne St., Bathurst

  • Aug. 22, 28, 29 between 10 a.m. and noon – Gymnasia, 1935 St. Peter Ave., Bathurst

  • Aug. 27 between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. – Walmart, 900 St. Anne St., Bathurst

  • Aug. 26 between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. – Joey's Pub & Eatery, 2050 St. Peter Ave., Bathurst

  • Aug. 24 between 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. – Bathurst Mall, 1300 St-Pierre Rd., Bathurst

  • Aug. 24 between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. – Dixie Lee Restaurant, 1224 St. Peter Ave., Bathurst

  • Aug. 24 between 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. – Marshall's, 700 St. Peter Ave., Bathurst

  • Aug. 24 between 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. – Aubainerie Bathurst, 1300 St. Peter Ave., Bathurst

Miramichi region, Zone 7:

  • Aug. 22 between 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. – Gallan's Miramichi River Tubing, 48 Kersey Lane, Doyles Brook

The full list of possible exposures is updated regularly and is available on the government's website.

What to do if you have a symptom

People concerned they might have COVID-19 can take a self-assessment test online.

Public Health says symptoms of the illness have included a fever above 38 C, a new or worsening cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, a new onset of fatigue, and 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 811 or their doctor and follow instructions.

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