HALIFAX — New Brunswick is reporting seven new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing active case numbers to 41.
On Sunday, New Brunswick Public Health reported six of the cases are in Zone 1 (Moncton region); while 1 of the cases is in Zone 5 (Campbellton region).
The six cases in Zone 1 (Moncton region) involve:
- An individual in their 30s
- Three individuals in their 60s
- An individual in their 70s
- An individual in their 80s
The case in Zone 5 (Campbellton region) involves an individual in their 50s.
All cases are self-isolating and under investigation.
“We are seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases and we need New Brunswickers to fully co-operate with Public Health staff and directives in order to manage the cases now and going forward,” said chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell on Sunday in a release. “Get tested if you are displaying COVID-19 symptoms and stay home if you are not feeling well. Do not take chances with your health and those of your loved ones and others in the community.”
VIGILANCE WHILE AWAITING VACCINES
The seven cases announced on Sunday are only a portion of a post-holiday spike health officials warned could happen if pandemic protocols were not followed properly.
“Masking, physical distancing, washing your hands are still going to be critically important until we get to vaccination numbers around 80 per cent, which probably won’t be until the fall,” says New Brunswick Medical Society president Dr. Jeff Steeves.
Despite the shaky start, the beginning of 2021 comes with new hope for front-line health care workers as vaccinations are administered.
Emergency room doctor Hanif Chatur, who works in Woodstock, is excited to receive his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine within the next seven days.
“What it does is that, if and when, in my high-risk environment, I come into contact with the virus, my immune system is going to be able to fend it off,” says Dr. Chatur. “At the very least, I’m not going to be able to develop severe COVID.”
New Brunswick is currently in the first stage of its vaccine rollout plan, with the vaccine not expected to be widely available until the spring or summer – all the more important for residents not to let their guard down.
“Presently, we’ve vaccinated about .2 per cent of the population with just their first dose, and approximately 1.4 per cent have recovered from COVID-19,” says Dr. Steeves. “Therefore, that leaves 98 per cent of the population still at risk.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Chatur provides a reminder to remain vigilant, even for those who have been vaccinated.
“We don’t really know what my infectivity is going to be, [or] if I’m still going to be transmissible,” says Dr. Chatur. “I need to mask, glove wash and be vigilant because I don’t want to make anyone else sick.”
New Brunswick has had 618 confirmed cases of COVID-19, of which 567 have recovered. There have been nine deaths, leaving 41 active cases in the province.
One person is currently in hospital in an intensive care unit, as a result of COVID-19.
To date, 154,124 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in New Brunswick.
The number of cases are broken down by New Brunswick’s seven health zones:
- Zone 1 – Moncton region: 161 confirmed cases (12 active cases)
- Zone 2 – Saint John region: 129 confirmed cases (1 active case)
- Zone 3 – Fredericton region: 135 confirmed cases (18 active cases)
- Zone 4 – Edmundston region: 34 confirmed cases (5 active cases)
- Zone 5 – Campbellton region: 139 confirmed cases (2 active cases)
- Zone 6 – Bathurst region: 14 confirmed cases (1 active case)
- Zone 7 – Miramichi region: 6 confirmed cases (2 active cases)
IMPORTANCE OF SELF-MONITORING
Public Health is reminding New Brunswickers of the importance of self-monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms, such as:
- a new cough, or worsening chronic cough
- sore throat
- runny nose
- a new onset of fatigue
- loss of sense of taste
- loss of sense of smell
- in children, purple markings on the fingers and toes
VEHICLE TRAFFIC INFORMATION
New Brunswick’s online dashboard includes information about vehicle traffic attempting to enter the province.
On Saturday, 632 personal and 295 commercial vehicles attempted to cross the border into the province.
Of the vehicles attempting to cross the border, 32 were refused entry, for a refusal rate of 3.5 per cent.