N.B. reports one COVID-19 related death, 98 new cases Monday

New Brunswick is announcing one COVID-19 related death on Monday, bringing the total number of people who have died of the disease in the province to 75.

The latest death involves a person in their 70s in the Saint John region (Zone 2).

“I was saddened to learn that another person has passed away because of the virus,” said Premier Blaine Higgs in a news release. “This is a tragic reminder of the seriousness of our current situation in New Brunswick. We are taking action to prevent the virus from spreading, which is why we must all limit our contacts to our single household this long weekend.”

“I know the number of breakthrough cases in vaccinated people seem alarming but it is to be expected as the virus moves. As far more people are vaccinated than not vaccinated, we may see a rise in cases in vaccinated people but the risk to those vaccinated people remains far lower with fewer vaccinated people getting hospitalized or seriously ill,” added Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “Our ICU numbers are showing that difference in severity of illness as well with roughly 90 per cent of the cases unvaccinated.”

The province has reported 19 COVID-19 related deaths since Tuesday, Sept. 28.

98 NEW CASES MONDAY

Health officials in New Brunswick are also reporting 98 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, along with 22 recoveries, as the total number of active cases in the province rises to 1,037.

According to health officials, 47 of Monday's 98 new cases, or 48 per cent, are not fully vaccinated. Nine cases, or nine per cent, are partially vaccinated, and 42 cases, or 43 per cent, are fully vaccinated.

The province says there are currently 56 people in hospital in New Brunswick due to COVID-19, with 20 in an intensive care unit. Of those currently in hospital, 44 are unvaccinated, three are partially vaccinated, and nine are fully vaccinated.

“We’re still seeing the majority of cases that are hospitalized are unvaccinated, as are the cases that are admitted to the ICU,” says Russell. “Vaccination continues to play a huge role in our response right now.”

N.B. HOSPITALS RETURN TO RED ALERT LEVEL

Hospitals in New Brunswick will return to a red alert level on Tuesday, meaning some non-urgent procedures could be delayed.

Both the Horizon Health Network and Vitalite say the measures are being put in place due to the rising COVID-19 hospitalizations in the province.

“There’s no question the system is stretched,” said Russell. “The fact that Vitalite is going into their red phase for their hospital system is really important in terms of protecting the system and making sure that the resources we need to provide care to COVID patients are available.”

Vitalite says its facilities will go back to the red-alert level on Tuesday, although Campbellton Regional Hospital is already at that level after an outbreak inside the building.

Horizon says it’s hospitals will enter the red alert level on Wednesday.

THANKSGIVING WEEKEND GATHERING LIMITS

New Brunswickers are being asked to limit their Thanksgiving weekend gatherings to the people living in their household.

Public health says all New Brunswickers, including those who are not covered by the circuit breaker, must not have gatherings anywhere other than a place at which the law requires proof of vaccination with anyone they do not currently live with during the Thanksgiving long weekend, between 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 8, and 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 11.

Public health says the household can be extended to include caregivers for any of those people, plus any parent, child, sibling, grandparent or grandchild of those people who requires support, along with any one additional person who lives alone at another address who requires support.

“We had plans to get together with my sister, and my elderly parents - they’re 96 and 87 - and we kind of put it on hold,” says Fredericton resident Shirley Appleby. “We decided with the circuit breaker, we’d try to stick to the rules as close as possible.”

Others chose to celebrate Thanksgiving at a restaurant with friends or family.

“Normally, I’m a big family person so I spend my holidays with the family, but because of the restrictions, it’s the very first holiday I couldn’t see my family,” says Fredericton resident Drew Eaton. “So I had this like little bubble, so I went out with friends to the ’Snooty Fox’.”

“At restaurants, I find in general it’s more family oriented. No one’s coming in with big parties, it’s really close and person,” says Fredericton resident Maurier McLaughlin. “You get to see a lot of people, just enjoying their time with their families.”

All businesses in New Brunswick may remain open for regular operations but must follow measures listed under the mandatory order. This includes businesses that are not required to see proof of vaccination, such as hair salons, retail and grocery stores, and those that are required to request proof of vaccination, such as restaurants and entertainment venues. Children under 12 accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult will also be admitted.

COVID-19 CASE DATA

New Brunswick has had 5,258 cumulative cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

In total, 4,145 people have recovered and 75 people have died in the province from COVID-19.

Public health says a total of 491,449 COVID-19 tests have been processed since the start of the pandemic.

The number of cases are broken down by New Brunswick’s seven health zones:

  • Zone 1 – Moncton region: 1,469 confirmed cases (375 active cases)
  • Zone 2 – Saint John region: 484 confirmed cases (75 active cases)
  • Zone 3 – Fredericton region: 1,136 confirmed cases (238 active cases)
  • Zone 4 – Edmundston region: 1,256 confirmed cases (165 active case)
  • Zone 5 – Campbellton region: 518 confirmed cases (99 active cases)
  • Zone 6 – Bathurst region: 264 confirmed cases (50 active cases)
  • Zone 7 – Miramichi region: 131 confirmed cases (35 active cases)

Twenty-four new cases were reported in the Moncton region (Zone 1) involving:

  • nine people age 19 and under
  • three people in their 30s
  • one person in their 40s
  • two people in their 50s
  • one person in their 60s
  • six people in their 80s
  • two people age 90 and over

Nineteen cases are under investigation and five are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

Eight new cases were reported in the Saint John region (Zone 2) involving:

  • three people age 19 and under
  • two people in their 20s
  • two people in their 40s
  • one person in their 50s

Seven cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases and one is under investigation.

Twenty-four new cases were reported in the Fredericton region (Zone 3) involving:

  • eight people age 19 and under
  • two people in their 20s
  • two people in their 30s
  • one person in their 40s
  • four people in their 50s
  • two people in their 60s
  • one person in their 70s
  • three people in their 80s
  • one person age 19 and over

Nineteen cases are under investigation and five are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

Twenty-three new cases were reported in the Edmundston region (Zone 4) involving:

  • two people age 19 and under
  • eight people in their 20s
  • three people in their 30s
  • three people in their 40s
  • two people in their 50s
  • three people in their 60s
  • two people in their 70s

Thirteen cases are under investigation and 10 are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

Twelve new cases were reported in the Campbellton region (Zone 5) involving:

  • one person in their 20s
  • one person in their 30s
  • one person in their 40s
  • five people in their 50s
  • two people in their 60s
  • one person in their 70s
  • one person in their 80s

Ten cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases and two cases are under investigation.

Four new cases were reported in the Bathurst region (Zone 6) involving:

  • one person age 19 and under
  • two people in their 30s
  • one person in their 50s

Three cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases and the other case is under investigation.

Three new cases were reported in the Miramichi region (Zone 7) involving:

  • one person age 19 and under
  • one person in their 40s
  • one person in their 50s

Two cases are under investigation and the other case is a contact of a previously confirmed case.

VACCINE UPDATE

As of Monday, 81.4 per cent of New Brunswickers age 12 and older are fully vaccinated and 90.6 per cent have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

In total, 1,197,985 vaccine doses have been administered in New Brunswick.

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

POTENTIAL PUBLIC EXPOSURES

A full list of potential COVID-19 exposure notifications in New Brunswick can be found on the province's website.

Anyone with symptoms of the virus, as well as anyone who has been at the site of a possible public exposure, is urged to request a test online or call Tele-Care at 811 to get an appointment.