New Brunswick reports 6 new cases of COVID-19; case at Moncton area high school

New Brunswick Public Health is reporting six new COVID-19 cases Monday, bringing the total number of active cases to 120 in the province.

The new cases include two cases in Zone 1, two cases in Zone 2, and one case in each of Zone 3 and Zone 6.

To date, the number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 501 and 374 have recovered. There have been seven deaths, and the number of active cases is 119 with no one in hospital – 125,188 tests have been conducted.

SIX NEW CASES

The two cases in Zone 1 (Moncton region) involve two people in their 20s.

The two cases in Zone 2 (Saint John region) are as follows:

  • One individual 20-29.
  • One individual 30-39.

All cases in Zone 1 and Zone 2 are self-isolating and are under investigation.

The single case in Zone 3 (Fredericton region) is an individual in their 60s and is travel-related. The individual is self-isolating.

The single case in Zone 6 (Bathurst region) is an individual in their 40s. They are self-isolating and the case is under investigation.

CASE AT HARRISON TRIMBLE HIGH SCHOOL

A positive case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Harrison Trimble High School in Moncton on Sunday. 

Public health says the school community has been notified and students should return to school unless otherwise advised by Public Health.

At this time, no student-to-student transmission has been determined in any school. Public Health says if a student or family member have been in close contact with the case, they will be notified by Public Health for contact tracing. If they do not hear directly from Public Health, they have not been identified as a close contact.

OUTBREAK AT DIEPPE RESIDENTIAL FACILITY DECLARED OVER

Public Health has officially declared the COVID-19 outbreak is over at Oasis Residence, an adult residential facility in Dieppe.

On Nov. 19, an outbreak was declared at Oasis Residence, which has 66 residents and 38 employees, following a confirmed COVID-19 case at the facility. In total, the outbreak consisted of only one case. All staff and residents of the facility were re-tested several times to confirm the end of the outbreak, which has been officially declared over by Dr. Mariane Pâquet, regional medical officer of health.

OUTBREAK AT PARKLAND SAINT JOHN CAMPUS

Follow-up testing recently occurred at the Parkland Saint John complex.

Tests processed at the microbiology laboratory identified six new positive cases for a total of 15 confirmed cases (10 residents and five employees).

For people who work inside this care facility in Saint John, word of six new cases this weekend is only adding to their concern.

"All of the workers there are working an enormous amount of hours, overtime, double shifts, they're picking up shifts, because there's a major staff shortage," said Tamara Elisseou, a CUPE national representative.

According to CUPE, a worker who took part in mass testing at the facility was sent home sick the next day but then had to be called back because of a staffing shortage.

"It's been a few days since then and what I understand is that worker felt that the symptoms were more likely a result of exhaustion," said Elisseou.

Parkland Retirement Living is a division of Shannex, which says it's doing everything it can to contain the outbreak.

“In environments like this, there’s people providing up-close personal care that’s much needed for our residents,” says Shannex director of clinical practice and infection control specialist Lisa Snodgrass. “It’s really important we identify who is in contact, what kind of personal protective equipment they would have had in place; as we all know, masks are certainly mandatory.”

Snodgrass says all residents are doing as well as can be expected and are being provided extra support throughout the isolation-period

However, advocates are wondering how such outbreaks are continuing to happen.

“How many more people does it need to affect before we need to shut down the zone?” says Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents' Rights executive director Cecile Cassista. “I think it should be shut down now for a couple of weeks and bring this to a head.”

With 15 cases of COVID-19 now confirmed among residents and staff another round of mass testing is underway.

Health Minister Dorothy Shephard says on-site support  provided by the province means they've been able to mobilize staff to fill any vacancies.

"One of the reports I saw yesterday showed we had ample staff to accommodate any missing staff within the facility, so the teams are very proactive in doing the jobs that they're doing in handling these outbreaks," Shephard said.

Members of the PROMT (Provincial Rapid Outbreak Management Team) remain on site at Parkland Saint John, providing support for residents and the facility’s clinical care team. Support includes testing and working in collaboration with the facility’s infection prevention control specialist to strengthen infection control measures.

The next round of mass testing will occur over a two-day period starting Monday.

CASES THROUGHOUT NEW BRUNSWICK

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

  • Zone 1 – Moncton region: 141 confirmed cases (28 active cases)
  • Zone 2 – Saint John region: 108 confirmed cases (71 active cases)
  • Zone 3 – Fredericton region: 93 confirmed cases (17 active cases)
  • Zone 4 – Edmundston region: 8 confirmed cases
  • Zone 5 – Campbellton region: 137 confirmed cases
  • Zone 6 – Bathurst region: 8 confirmed cases (4 active cases)
  • Zone 7 – Miramichi region: 4 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 includes information about vehicle traffic attempting to enter the New Brunswick border.

On Sunday, 1,153 personal and 788 commercial vehicles attempted to cross the border into the province.

Of the vehicles attempting to cross the border, 20 were refused entry, for a refusal rate of 1 per cent.

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