N.B. reports five deaths related to COVID-19, raising pandemic death toll to 80

New Brunswick Public Health reported Wednesday that five people have died as a result of COVID-19. This brings the total number of COVID-19-related deaths in the province to 80.

A person in their 60s from Zone 2 (Saint John region), a person in their 50s and a person in their 80s from Zone 3 (Fredericton region), a person in their 80s from Zone 5 (Campbellton region), and a person in their 80s from Zone 6 (Bathurst region) are the latest victims of the novel coronavirus in New Brunswick.

"We continue to see a high number of cases in the areas where our circuit breaker restrictions are in place," Premier Blaine Higgs said in a news release. "If you are in these areas, please follow all of the rules to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Five more lives lost to this virus is heartbreaking."

Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health says it's important to remember that the numbers the province reports every day are people.

"The Delta variant has hit us harder than any other wave and I encourage everyone to take the steps available to protect themselves and the people they love," Russell said. "Follow the rules in effect where you live and get fully vaccinated as soon as possible."

Public health says there are 68 people hospitalized because of COVID-19, with 27 in an intensive-care unit.

"Of those in hospital, 44 are unvaccinated, four are partially vaccinated and 20 are fully vaccinated," public health said in a news release. "Of the 27 in an intensive care unit, 21 are unvaccinated, three are partially vaccinated and three are fully vaccinated."

Public Health also reported 82 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and 95 recoveries, lowering the number of active cases to 1,074.

Of the new cases, 36 – or 44 per cent – are unvaccinated, five – or six per cent – are partially vaccinated, and 42 – or 50 per cent – are fully vaccinated, according to a news release from public health.

"As a higher percentage of the population gets vaccinated, and as the virus moves across the province, it is expected that we will see more cases in vaccinated people," said Russell. "However, as a whole, there will be fewer cases among the vaccinated population in comparison to those that are unvaccinated, with fewer vaccinated people getting hospitalized and seriously ill compared to those who catch COVID-19 and are unvaccinated."

ALL HOSPITALS MOVE TO RED-LEVEL PROTOCOLS

Because of rising numbers of COVID-19 cases, all hospitals and health-care facilities in New Brunswick have returned to Red-level protocols. "Measures are in place to address the strain on health-care workers and on the system," public health said in a news release. "Additional information is available on the Horizon Health Network website and the Vitalité Health Network website."

SACKVILLE MLA CONCERNED ABOUT RESPONSE AT NURSING HOME

Forty residents and staff tested positive -- and eight people have died -- after an outbreak of COVID-19 at a Sackville, N.B., nursing home.

The MLA representing the community wonders if enough was done.

"I have some questions about the government's response," said Memramcook-Tantramar MLA Megan Mitton. "Was the government's response adequate to this outbreak and you know more broadly, to the fourth wave of this pandemic?"

Mitton wonders if the Provincial Rapid Outbreak Management Team (PROMT), which responds to outbreaks to get them under control, has been spread too thin.

She's also concerned about the rising number of people who've died from the virus and those having to be hospitalized.

She believes measures like masking should have been in place earlier.

UPDATE ON VACCINATION TOTALS

Public Health reported Wednesday that 81.6 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 90.9 per cent have received a first dose of a vaccine.

If you have not yet had your first or second dose, you can go to a walk-in clinic or book an appointment through a participating pharmacy or at a Vitalité or Horizon health network clinic.

All eligible New Brunswickers can book their second-dose appointments for a date that is at 28 days after their first dose.

A list of upcoming mobile and walk-in clinics is available online.

CONFIRMED CASES IN SCHOOLS AND CHILD-CARE FACILITIES

Public health has confirmed positive cases in schools and child-care facilities in Zones 1 (Moncton region), 4 (Edmundston region), 5 (Campbellton region) and 6 (Bathurst region).

"The respective school or child-care communities have been notified," public health said in a news release. "If you or a family member have been in close contact with a case, you will be notified by Public Health or the school or facility for contact tracing. If you are not notified directly, you have not been identified as a close contact."

New Brunswick’s Healthy and Safe Schools guidelines stipulates that schools with cases will close or move to online learning for at least one calendar day to support contact tracing, risk assessments and operational responses.

Here is a listed of confirmed cases:

  • Zone 1 (Moncton region) – A case was confirmed at École le Sommet in Moncton. A new case or cases have been confirmed in the following previously impacted schools: Beaverbrook School; École Champlain; Birchmount School; and Harrison Trimble High School, all in Moncton. A case was also confirmed at JD Tae Kwon Do in Moncton.
  • Zone 4 (Edmundston region) – A case was confirmed at Cité des Jeunes A.-M.-Sormany in Edmundston. A new case was confirmed at École Régionale Saint-André.
  • Zone 5 (Campbellton region) – A case has been confirmed at L.E. Reinsborough School in Dalhousie.
  • Zone 6 (Bathurst region) – A new case has been confirmed at École Le Tremplin in Tracadie.

Since Sept. 7, 98 schools and 47 early learning and child-care facilities have had confirmed cases of COVID-19.

REGIONAL BREAKDOWN OF NEW CASES

Here is a regional breakdown of the new cases.

  • 32 new cases in Zone 1 (Moncton region);
  • five new cases in Zone 2 (Saint John region);
  • 12 new cases in Zone 3 (Fredericton region);
  • nine new cases in Zone 4 (Edmundston region);
  • 18 new cases in Zone 5 (Campbellton region);
  • four new cases in Zone 6 (Bathurst region);
  • two new cases in Zone 7 (Miramichi region).

Additional information is available on the COVID-19 dashboard.

POTENTIAL PUBLIC EXPOSURES

If you have symptoms of the virus, or if you have been at the site of a possible public exposure, you are urged to request a test online to get an appointment.

A map of potential public exposures can also be found on the COVID-19 dashboard.