N.B. COVID-19 roundup: 265 cases reported, one death in Saint John region

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New Brunswick declared another record number of COVID-19 cases on Christmas Eve.  (NIAID Integrated Research Facility/Reuters - image credit)
New Brunswick declared another record number of COVID-19 cases on Christmas Eve. (NIAID Integrated Research Facility/Reuters - image credit)

New Brunswick declared another record number of new COVID-19 cases on Friday with 265, bringing the total number of active cases in the province to 1,653.

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

Public Health reported 174 recoveries.

Thirty-four people are in hospital, including 15 in intensive care and 12 on ventilators. None of those admitted to hospital tested with the Omicron variant, Public Health said.

Of those in hospital, 21 are over the age of 60, and none are under 19.

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

The highest number, 68, are being declared in the Moncton region, followed by the Saint John region, where there are 42, Public Health said.

"Exponential growth in cases continues to put health care at risk, not just due to COVID-19 but for all other health-care needs," Public Health wrote in a release. "For everyone's health, New Brunswickers are asked to do all they can, including, if possible, limiting movement and contacts."

CBC News
CBC News

Largest group of new cases still among those 20 to 29

A total of 74 cases were declared among those age 20 to 29, with 34 cases among youth between 10 to 19.

Another 32 cases feel into the 50-to-59 age group, 30 among those aged 30 to 39, and 27 among children nine or under.

The new cases break down this way:

Moncton region, Zone 1

  • 85 cases

This includes 68 cases of the Omicron variant.

Saint John region, Zone 2

  • 97 cases

This includes 42 cases of the Omicron variant.

Fredericton region, Zone 3

  • 39 cases

This includes 16 cases of the Omicron variant.

Edmundston region, Zone 4

  • 23 cases

This includes eight cases of the Omicron variant.

Campbellton region, Zone 5

  • five cases

This includes two cases of the Omicron variant.

Bathurst region, Zone 6

  • five cases

This includes three cases of the Omicron variant.

Miramichi region, Zone 7

  • six cases

This includes eight cases of the Omicron variant.

A total of 11,587 cases have been reported since the start of the pandemic in New Brunswick, with 9,780 people listed as recovered from the virus.

A total of 603,538 PCR tests have been carried out to date, including 2,015 carried out since Thursday.

As of Friday, 82.8 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, 89.9 per cent have received their first dose, up from 89.8 per cent, and 17.8 per cent have received a booster dose, up from 16.8.

Hours and dates of vaccination clinics and walk-in operations can be found online on the gnb.ca website.

Province asks for daily rapid testing after exposure

Since Tuesday, people infected with COVID-19 have been required to notify their close contacts and provide instructions for them on how to isolate, a responsibility that previously was Public Health's.

Instructions provided to those infected with the virus ask that those potentially exposed to carry out rapid testing for 14 consecutive days, as long as they are fully vaccinated. Those with two doses also aren't required to self-isolate unless they work in a "vulnerable" setting, such as a nursing home or a shelter.

Those who have been exposed but who aren't fully vaccinated are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days and arrange for PCR testing on day three and five of their isolation.

NBCC delays start of in-person classes

In a letter to students this week, the New Brunswick Community College announced it will be delaying the beginning of in-person classes.

Any theory classes that don't require hands-on learning will be moved online until at least Jan 24, the college said.

NBCC/Twitter
NBCC/Twitter

The college has campuses in Fredericton, Saint John, Moncton, Saint Andrews, Woodstock and Miramichi.

"Labs, shops, and clinicals will continue in-person, but all other classes will be delivered through our virtual platform to reduce traffic on our campuses," said Ann Drennan, the vice-president of the college.

Classes are starting up again on Jan. 4. Any students who need to attend courses on campus are being asked to begin daily rapid testing on Dec. 30.

New public exposure notices

Public Health shared the following new exposure sites on Friday.

They include:

Moncton region, Zone 1

  • Dec. 11 between 6 p.m. and midnight - Little Louis' (245 Collishaw St., Moncton)

Saint John region, Zone 2

  • Dec. 22 between 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. - Sussex Health Centre (75 Leonard Dr., Sussex)

  • Dec. 17 between 12 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. - Saint John Regional Hospital 4AS Pediatric Unit (400 University Ave., Saint John)

  • Dec. 16 and Dec. 17 between 7:30 p.m. and 11:59 a.m. - Saint John Regional Hospital 4AS Pediatric Unit (400 University Ave., Saint John)

Fredericton region, Zone 3

  • Dec. 15 between 5:45 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. - Dos Toros Taqueria (526 Queen St., Fredericton)

  • Dec. 15 between 4:15 p.m. and 5 p.m. - Shoppers Drug Mart Vaccine Clinic (440 King St., Fredericton)

Edmundston region, Zone 4

  • Dec. 19 between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. - Bingo Night (455 Route 255, Saint-André)

Bathurst region, Zone 6

  • Dec. 20 between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. - Studio Olympus Gym (1079 Prinicipale St., Beresford)

Miramichi region, Zone 7

  • Dec. 20 between 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. - United Church Hall (145 Main St., Blackville)

  • Dec. 20 - Dec. 23 - Blackhorse Motel (83 Newcastle Blvd., Miramichi)

  • Dec. 14 - Dec. 22 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. - Sobeys Pharmacy (2485 King George Highway, Miramichi)

Flight exposures

  • Dec. 20 – Air Canada Flight 7994 – from Montreal to Moncton departed at 1:23 p.m.

  • Dec. 14 – Air Canada Flight 8522 – from Toronto to Fredericton departed at 8:38 a.m.

  • Dec. 12 – Air Canada Flight 8946 – from Toronto to Moncton departed at 10:23 p.m.

  • Dec. 18 – Air Canada Flight 8044 – from Montreal to Saint John departed at 3:35 p.m.

  • Dec. 16 – Air Canada Flight 8494 – from Toronto to Saint John departed at 7:53 a.m.

  • Dec. 14 – Air Canada Flight 8942 – from Toronto to Moncton departed at 8:28 a.m.

  • Dec. 17 – Air Canada Flight 8494 – from Toronto to Saint John departed at 7:59 a.m.

  • Dec. 16 – Air Canada Flight 8942 – from Toronto to Moncton departed at 8:30 a.m.

  • Dec. 15 – WestJet Flight 3404 – from Toronto to Fredericton departed at 9:30 a.m.

  • Dec. 14 – Flair Flight 137 – from Toronto to Saint John departed at 7:59 a.m.

  • Dec. 13 – Air Canada Flight 8524 – from Toronto to Fredericton departed at 2 p.m.

  • Dec. 13 – Porter Airlines Flight 225 – from Toronto to Moncton departed at noon

  • Dec. 13 – Air Canada Flight 8510 – from Montreal to Bathurst departed at 6:51 p.m.

  • Dec. 13 – WestJet Flight 3440 – from Toronto to Moncton departed at 1:26 a.m.

  • Dec. 12 – Air Canada Flight 8498 – from Toronto to Saint John departed at 6:13 p.m.

  • Dec. 12 – Air Canada Flight 7994 – from Montreal to Moncton departed at 1:20 p.m.

  • Dec. 12 – Air Canada Flight 8946 – from Toronto to Moncton departed at 10:23 p.m.

  • Dec. 12 – Air Canada Flight 8046 – from Montreal to Saint John departed at 8:25 p.m.

  • Dec. 11 – Air Canada Flight 8944 – from Toronto to Moncton departed at 2 p.m.

  • Dec. 10 – Air Canada Flight 8044 – from Montreal to Saint John departed at 2 p.m.

For the full list of new and previous public exposure notices, visit the provincial government's website.

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

People who are not fully vaccinated and do not have symptoms are now being instructed to pick up an At-Home COVID-19 Rapid Point of Care Test (Rapid POCT) screening kit. They do not need to isolate if they have not been directed by Public Health to do so.

All positive point-of-care test results must be confirmed with a laboratory polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, test.

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

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

For people who have been 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.

They do not need to isolate while they wait for their test results.

If they do not have symptoms, they can pick up a rapid test kit and do not need to isolate.

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.

People with one of those symptoms should stay at home, call 811 or their doctor and follow instructions.

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