N.B. reports 4 more COVID-19 deaths as hospitalizations drop

The seven-day moving average of hospitalizations for COVID-19 has dropped to 32 from 40 in the past week, according to Tuesday's COVIDWatch report. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)
The seven-day moving average of hospitalizations for COVID-19 has dropped to 32 from 40 in the past week, according to Tuesday's COVIDWatch report. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)

COVID-19 has claimed the lives of four more New Brunswickers and a child under 10 is among those newly admitted to hospital, but no one is in intensive care, and hospitalizations and new cases have both decreased, according to weekly figures released Tuesday.

Two people in their 70s, one in their 80s and one 90 or older died between Nov. 6 and Nov. 12, the COVIDWatch report shows.

The province's pandemic death toll has now reached 603.

The number of hospital admissions for COVID-19 is described as "stable" at 22, compared to 23 in the previous report, while the number of active hospitalizations because of the virus dropped to 29 from 33, five of whom required intensive care, according to the province.

The highest portion of hospitalizations for COVID-19 is among people aged 70 to 89.

Dr. Yves Leger, the acting chief medical officer of health, is unavailable again this week for an interview, Department of Health spokesperson Adam Bowie said.

"The number of PCR [polymerase chain reaction] confirmed cases has moderately decreased over the past four weeks," the COVIDWatch report says.

There were 518 cases of COVID confirmed through a PCR test in the past week, down from 554.

That puts the total number of active cases, based on PCR cases alone, at 759, down from 821.

Another 289 people reported testing positive on a rapid test, down from 312.

Of the most recent random samples sent for sequencing, 94 per cent were the highly transmissible Omicron subvariant BA.5, five per cent were the Omicron subvariant BA.4 and one per cent were the Omicron subvariant BA.2

The Department of Health has refused to provide a further breakdown of any sublineages. Last month it confirmed that a single case of BA.2.75.2, which has mutations that allow it to better evade immunity from vaccination and prior infection, had been detected in New Brunswick in September.

A total of 25.5 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers have now received their second booster, up from 24.9 per cent, after another 3,220 doses were administered in the past week, says the Department of Health.

The first-booster rate has also increased to 54.2 per cent, from 54.1 per cent.

The two-dose and one-dose rates remain unchanged at 85.6 per cent and 90.7 per cent, respectively.

New Brunswick has had 81,787 confirmed cases of COVID since the beginning of the pandemic. Of those, 80,425 are now considered resolved.