New Brunswick Tribune

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The leader of the NB Liberals asked govt to update the COVID-19 plans

The leader of the New Brunswick Liberals has asked the government to update the COVID-19 plans

Key takeaways:

  • In the first weeks of the new year, the official Opposition in New Brunswick believes that the public should know more about the government’s plans to combat COVID-19.
  • On Saturday, J.C. D’Amours, a liberal health critic, went on Twitter to demand a policy change.

The official Opposition in New Brunswick thinks that the public must know more about the govt’s plans to fight COVID-19 in the first weeks of the new year.

According to Liberal Leader Roger Melanson, who told reporters in a virtual scrum on Monday, case counts and hospitalizations are continuing to rise.

If hospitalizations reach 100, the province’s Winter Plan will be activated to Level 3, which Melanson described as “basically” a lockdown.

Melanson has asked Premier Blaine Higgs to forecast the near future.

Also read: COVID-19 booster eligibility for New Brunswickers has been expanded

“What is the current state of affairs?” Melanson enquired.

According to the Liberals, the daily-reported case counts are now skewed because the province has failed to include outcomes from rapid tests, which have been the main source of testing for most people under 50.

On Saturday, J.C. D’Amours, a liberal health critic, went on Twitter to demand a policy change.

“GNB must reveal the count of positive instances following a rapid test on its Dashboard for the sake of transparency,” D’Amours wrote.

Ray Harris, a data analyst in Fredericton, stated that only having lab-confirmed PCR tests makes it tough to track the province’s progress.

The leader of the New Brunswick Liberals has asked the government to update the COVID-19 plans
The leader of the NB Liberals has asked the government to update the COVID-19 plans. Image from Global News

“For a couple of reasons, it completely messes up the numbers,” Harris explained. “One, of course, is that we don’t have a good idea of the province’s overall positivity rate, let alone the individual zones.”

The premier’s office was contacted for an interview, but no response was received.

However, Health Minister Dorothy Shephard stated that “as soon as possible,” the reported positives from rapid tests will be added to the dashboard.

She chastised Melanson, claiming that he would have had the information he sought if he hadn’t left the government’s all-party COVID-19 cabinet committee in early November.

Shephard admitted, “It’s not going to be an easy road.” “The next 6 to 8 weeks will be difficult, but we will make certain that the public is aware of the circumstances that lead to any shift, as well as why and when it is necessary.”

As more employees are forced to isolate due to virus or exposure, Shephard stated her department, public health, regional health authorities, and others are collaborating to avoid a healthcare human-resources crisis.

Other provinces, such as Nova Scotia and Quebec, have asked the federal government for assistance. Shephard stated that there are no plans to make a similar request in New Brunswick.

Source: Global News

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