N.B. COVID-19 roundup: Visits suspended on multipurpose unit at Grand Falls General Hospital

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Visits are being temporarily suspended on multipurpose unit at Grand Falls General Hospital for designated support people. (Vitalité Health Network - image credit)
Visits are being temporarily suspended on multipurpose unit at Grand Falls General Hospital for designated support people. (Vitalité Health Network - image credit)

Vitalité Health Network is halting all visits to patients on the multipurpose unit of Grand Falls General Hospital due to a possible COVID-19 exposure.

Visitation was already limited to fully vaccinated designated support people, but they're not able to visit now either.

In a press release on Sunday, the health network stated, "temporary measures are in place to protect the health and safety of our patients, health care workers and community."

The hospital serves a population of around 15,000 in the community.

The release also reiterates that people with any symptoms of COVID-19 must not go to the emergency department. These people must limit their contacts and immediately register online on the government's website or call Tele-Care 811 for a screening test.

Province facing tighter restrictions on Monday

The entire province will be moving to stricter level 2 restrictions at 11:59 p.m. on Monday.

On Tuesday afternoon, the province and public health outlined the following measures:

  • Household contacts must be limited to a maximum of a steady 10 individuals.

  • Dining-in is permitted in restaurants, but they must operate at 50 per cent capacity and request proof-of-vaccination.

  • Restaurants, retail stores, malls, businesses, gyms, salons and spas, and entertainment centres may continue to operate, but at 50 per cent capacity and with two metres of distance between patrons.

  • For public gatherings, venues cannot have events with more than 150 people or 50 per cent capacity, whichever is less.

  • Faith venues may operate at 50 per cent capacity and with physical distancing, and choirs are not permitted.

  • All travellers, including New Brunswickers returning to the province, must register or have a multi-use travel pass. Travellers arriving by air will be provided with a rapid test kit.

  • Unvaccinated people entering the province must isolate and be tested on day 10. International travellers must follow federal testing and isolation guidelines and must be tested on day five and day 10.

  • Travellers must follow public health measures when in New Brunswick, including wearing a mask and staying within a steady 10 list of contacts.

  • Employees are encouraged to work from home.

Pause on COVID-19 case numbers

All rapid test pickup locations are closed on select days over the holidays as New Brunswick sees record-high numbers for COVID-19 infections.

Mobile and hub rapid test pickup locations will be closed Christmas Day through Tuesday and Jan. 1 to 3.

Numbers regarding new cases, hospitalizations and deaths won't be reported to the public by the province until Monday, before being paused again from Jan. 1 to 2 and resuming Jan. 3.

As reported on Friday, New Brunswick declared another record number of cases with 265, bringing the total number of active cases to 1,653.

One person between age 70 and 79 has died in the Saint John region after contracting the virus, New Brunswick Public Health said in its Christmas Eve update. That brings the death count in the province to 152.

Public Health reported 174 recoveries.

On Friday, 34 people were reported to be in hospital, including 15 in intensive care and 12 on ventilators. None of those admitted tested with the Omicron variant, Public Health said.

Of those in hospital, 21 are over age 60 with no one under 19.

Omicron cases are now being reported in all seven regions of the province, with 147 cases confirmed, a rise of 65 cases from Thursday.

The highest total, 68, was declared in the Moncton region, followed by the Saint John region, where there were 42.

COVID-19 in the Maritimes

Anyone who's not been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to a possible exposure and who have symptoms should get a COVID-19 lab test. They can book an appointment online or call Tele-Care 811, and must isolate while waiting for test results.

It can take up to 14 days to test positive after being exposed to COVID-19, so even if results come back negative, you should continue to self-monitor for any symptoms and get tested immediately if any develop.

Also, avoid visiting settings with vulnerable populations, such as nursing homes, correctional facilities and shelters, during that 14-day period.

For anyone fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to a possible exposure, Public Health recommends they monitor for symptoms for 14 days after the possible exposure and get a COVID lab test if symptoms develop.

There's no need to isolate while waiting for test results.

What to do if you have a symptom

Anyone concerned about having COVID-19 can take a self-assessment test online.

Public Health says symptoms 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.

If exhibiting any of those symptoms, stay home, call 811 or your doctor and follow instructions.

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