Person in 30s dies from COVID-19 in New Brunswick; 14 new cases Wednesday

New Brunswick Public Health is reporting the province's 31st COVID-19 related death, as well as 14 new cases of the virus on Wednesday.

The latest death involved an individual in their 30s residing in the Edmundston region (Zone 4), who died of underlying complications, including COVID-19.

“Each life lost in our province as a result of this virus is painful for those who knew and loved them,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. “On behalf of all New Brunswickers, Marcia and I send sincere condolences to their family and friends. They are in our thoughts and prayers.”

CTV News has learned the man who died was 38-year-old Luc Belanger.

His wife Julie posted about the loss on Facebook, and said that due to the pandemic, a celebration of life will be announced at a later date.

“I offer my heartfelt sympathy to the loved ones of this person,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “This death is a sad reminder that COVID-19 does not discriminate, and that we must all continue to do everything we can to keep one another safe.”

The last COVID-19 related death in New Brunswick was reported on March 12.

14 NEW CASES

Eleven of Wednesday's 14 new cases were identified in the Edmundston region (Zone 4). They involve:

  • an individual 19 and under;
  • two people 20-29;
  • two people 30-39;
  • three people 50-59;
  • an individual 60-69;
  • an individual 70-79; and
  • an individual 80-89.

Of the 11 Zone 4 cases, eight are under investigation and three are contacts of a previously confirmed case. Seven of these cases are related to the outbreak at the Foyer St-Jacques, a special care home in Edmundston.

Of New Brunswick's 163 active cases, 131 are located in the Edmundston region, which remains under the Red level designation.

Wednesday's three other new cases involve:

  • two cases in Zone 1 (Moncton region) involving an individual in their 20s and an individual in their 40s. One is travel related and the other remains under investigation.
  • one case in Zone 3 (Fredericton region) involving an individual in their 70s. This case is travel related and the individual is self-isolating.

Twelve previously reported cases are now considered recovered, as the number of active cases in the province increases to 163.

N.B. COVID-19 CASE DATA

New Brunswick has had 1,679 cumulative confirmed cases since the pandemic began. In total, 1,474 people have recovered, and 31 people have died in the province from COVID-19.

Eighteen people are in hospital as a result of COVID-19, with 12 people in the intensive care unit.

Public health says 914 tests were completed on Tuesday in New Brunswick, and 263,002 total since the start of the pandemic.

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

  • Zone 1 – Moncton region: 367 confirmed cases (14 active cases)
  • Zone 2 – Saint John region: 236 confirmed cases (12 active cases)
  • Zone 3 – Fredericton region: 250 confirmed cases (4 active cases)
  • Zone 4 – Edmundston region: 589 confirmed cases (131 active cases)
  • Zone 5 – Campbellton region: 182 confirmed cases (0 active cases)
  • Zone 6 – Bathurst region: 29 confirmed cases (1 active cases)
  • Zone 7 – Miramichi region: 26 confirmed cases (1 active case)

VACCINE UPDATE

New Brunswick's government also announced Wednesday that people 70 and older may now schedule an appointment to receive their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine online through Vitalité or Horizon Health Network or by contacting a participating pharmacy.

Individuals in the 70 and older group, or a caregiver or family member calling on their behalf, can make the appointment.

Russell reminded residents that only those who are part of an eligible group are allowed to make an appointment. Those who book an appointment at a clinic for which they are not eligible will be turned away without receiving a vaccine.

New Brunswick's COVID-19 online dashboard provides an update on the amount of vaccines that have been administered to date.

As of Tuesday, 129,317 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered so far. Approximately 17.6 per cent of the province's population, 116,108 New Brunswickers have received at least one dose, The province has received a total of 190,485 doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

VACCINATION CLINICS

New Brunswick will be holding vaccination clinics across the province this week.

Individuals 70 and over can book appointments at either a pharmacy or at a regional health authority clinic. Information on other currently eligible groups is available online.

In addition, AstraZeneca vaccination clinics organized by Vitalité Health Network in Edmundston on April 6 and April 7 are open for registration. Individuals 55 and over can book appointments online or by phone at 1-833-437-1424. Eligible residents are advised not to contact a pharmacy to book an appointment at these Vitalité-led clinics.

“I encourage all New Brunswickers to book a vaccine appointment when it’s their turn,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “For those still waiting to be eligible, please be patient; your turn is coming. We remain committed to providing the first shot to all New Brunswickers who want the vaccine by the end of June.”

Russell reminded residents to keep checking online for updates on eligible groups and that only those who are part of an eligible group are allowed to make an appointment.

“Do not book an appointment if you are not currently eligible, as doing so will take a spot away from a currently eligible individual,” Russell said. “If you book an appointment at a clinic for which you are not eligible, you will be turned away without receiving a vaccine. Appointment bookings will continue to be added as more vaccines arrive. Everyone will have their turn, but it does take some planning and patience.”

Russell noted that while vaccines are a vital part of the plan to end the COVID-19 pandemic, New Brunswickers must still do their part to slow the spread.

“Until we receive enough vaccines to allow the majority of New Brunswickers to be vaccinated, it remains critical for everyone to remain vigilant and continue to follow public health guidelines,” Russell said. “This applies to all age groups as we are beginning to see similar trends in New Brunswick as in other provinces regarding the variants. Younger individuals are being hospitalized. We must all support one another by following the rules.”

EXPOSURE NOTIFICATION AT SAINT JOHN YMCA

New Brunswick public health is warning the public of potential exposure to COVID-19 at theYMCA of Greater Saint John, at 191 Churchill Blvd.

People who visited this location between the hours of 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 1 should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days. Should any COVID-19 symptoms develop, they are directed to self-isolate and take the self-assessment online or to call 811 to get tested.

MOST OF PROVINCE AT YELLOW LEVEL

All other zones, including the communities outside the circuit breaker in zone 4, remain in the Yellow level under the province’s mandatory order.

New Brunswick health is asking all residents of the Saint-Jacques sector of Edmundston to self-monitor for symptoms and seek testing if necessary.