New Brunswick reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and one previously identified case has recovered, as the number of active cases in the province has dropped to five.

It is the seventh straight day that New Brunswick has reported no new cases, following a three-day streak of new cases.

The last new case was reported on Sept. 25, when public health identified a new case involving an individual between 30 and 39 in Zone 6 (Bathurst region). The case is related to travel from outside the Atlantic bubble and the person is self-isolating.

There have been 200 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick. Of those, 193 people have recovered and two people have died.

To date, a total of 78,635 tests have been conducted in the province.

There is currently no one in hospital as a result of COVID-19.

BORDER SCREENING TO BE SUSPENDED FOR ATLANTIC TRAVELLERS

During a news update on Friday, New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs announced the province will suspend the screening of travellers from Prince Edward Island or Nova Scotia by land, effective Thursday, Oct. 8.

“This will allow peace officers to focus on other efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as assuring compliance with guidelines like 14-day self-isolation, gatherings and business operations,” said Higgs.

Border measures will remain in place for travellers from outside Atlantic provinces. Anyone who travels to New Brunswick from outside the Atlantic region is required to self-isolate for 14 days

NO MANDATORY MASKS AT THIS TIME

During Friday's news update, Higgs said that masks won't be made mandatory at this time, but that could change as soon as next week.

“Although I prefer not to make face masks mandatory in public spaces, I know that it may be soon necessary, even as soon as October 8,” said Higgs. “It could be as soon as October 8, or it could be a few weeks, but I would suggest that mandatory masks are coming soon to our province.”

Higgs further clarified that the decision to make masks mandatory will be made based off the adherence to the recommendation of wearing masks, something that peace officers will be paying close attention to in the coming days.

"We've seen it across the country, various forms of wearing masks," said Higgs. "We know they've adopted a mandatory mask policy in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, and certainly it's something that I would expect most people in the province are expecting."

New Brunswick's Chief Medical Officer of Health spoke to the importance of remaining vigilant, avoiding large gatherings, and encouraging the use of face masks, although stopped short of making masks mandatory.

“More New Brunswickers are getting into the habit of wearing a mask, and that’s encouraging. But to protect our most vulnerable we need to stay well ahead of the course of this pandemic,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. “We will be monitoring mask use across the province, and I will not hesitate to recommend a mandatory order if this becomes necessary, but at this point in time, we’ve seen many encouraging signs that people are respecting the public health objectives.”

Russell also spoke about celebrating the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

“Everyone wants to be gathered with their families and friends for food and fun. It can happen, and it can be done safely, if everyone follows the guidelines I’ve set out today,” said Russell. “My advice would be to keep your gatherings very small, and if the weather permits, have your Thanksgiving outdoors if you can, being outdoors reduces those risks.” 

COVID-19 CASES IN NEW BRUNSWICK

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases are broken down by New Brunswick’s seven health zones:

  • Zone 1 – Moncton region: 46 confirmed cases (3 active cases)
  • Zone 2 – Saint John region: 28 confirmed cases
  • Zone 3 – Fredericton region: 58 confirmed cases (1 active case, though the person is staying in Ontario until they recover.)
  • Zone 4 – Edmundston region: 8 confirmed cases
  • Zone 5 – Campbellton region: 53 confirmed cases
  • Zone 6 – Bathurst region: 3 confirmed cases (1 active case)
  • Zone 7 – Miramichi region: 3 confirmed cases

The province recently announced that residents can take an online self-assessment if they are experiencing mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms.

VEHICLE TRAFFIC INFORMATION

New Brunswick's online dashboard also includes information about vehicle traffic attempting to enter the New Brunswick border.

On Thursday, 8,354 personal and 4,272 commercial vehicles attempted to cross the border into the province.

Of the vehicles attempting to cross the border, 53 were refused entry, for a refusal rate of 0.4 per cent.