'It's like a nightmare': Concerns grow over number of COVID-19 patients in Edmundston hospital

With only three new COVID-19 cases in New Brunswick's Edmundston region on Monday, there is still concern about the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital.

As of Monday, there are currently 14 people in hospital in New Brunswick, eight of which are in the intensive care unit.

Eric Marquis, the deputy mayor of Edmundston, says the current situation at the Edmundston Regional Hospital is critical with their intensive care unit now full.

Marquis says, while the city has dealt with outbreaks before, this one appears to be different.

"We've seen a lot of young people in their teens, 20s, 30s, 40s, and they are getting sick pretty bad," explained Marquis. "That is something we know for a fact right now."

During the weekend, the Vitalité Health Network said that transferring patients from the Edmundston Regional Hospital was imminent.

Local MLAs say the region is exhausted.

"It's like a nightmare and I really hope each and every one across the province, even if you think you're not affected or you think you won't have the virus, don't take that for granted," said Jean-Claude D'Amours, the MLA for Edmundston-Madawaska. "You never know, a little area like ours is facing a crisis right now."

Health officials were busy in the Edmundston region over the weekend after thousands of vaccine doses were shipped to the area. Marquis says the vaccine shipment is a dose of optimism for Edmundston residents.

"For the past three days, they have 750 people per day. That is something amazing," said Marquis. "We had a pharmacy that vaccinated 475 people just this past Sunday."

Marquis also adds he would like to work with the provincial government on a "restart program" to help small and medium sized businesses in the Edmundston region.

Two AstraZeneca clinics are scheduled to happen in Edmundston on Tuesday and Wednesday for individuals aged 55 and older. The AstraZeneca clinics will be organized by the Vitalité Health Network and appointments can be booked online.