N.B. reports two COVID-19-related deaths, 69 new cases Thursday; circuit breaker expanded

New Brunswick is reporting two COVID-19 related deaths on Thursday, bringing the total number of deaths related to the virus to 114.

“Despite this sad news, we are seeing hopeful signs that the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is beginning to recede. The public health measures put in place earlier this month are working,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health during Thursday’s news update.

“The number of new cases has gone down by 50 per cent, and the number of active cases has declined by nearly one third since the circuit breakers were put into effect. This is good news, however our health care system remains under strain.”

Health officials are also reporting 69 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, along with 51 recoveries, as the total number of active cases in the province rises to 549.

According to health officials, 43 of Thursday's 69 new cases, or 62 per cent, are unvaccinated. Two cases, or three per cent, are partially vaccinated, and 24 cases, or 35 per cent, are fully vaccinated.

The province says there are currently 31 people in hospital in New Brunswick due to COVID-19, with 16 in an intensive care unit. Of those currently in hospital, 18 are unvaccinated, two are partially vaccinated, and 11 are fully vaccinated.

Of the 16 people in the ICU, two are fully vaccinated, 12 are unvaccinated, and two are partially vaccinated.

CIRCUIT BREAKER EXPANDED AND EXTENDED

During Thursday’s news update, New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs announced the circuit breaker in some areas of the province will be extended for at least another seven days, and will be expanded to include certain areas of the Saint John region.

“The cases in these areas are part of a sustained trend, and currently Zone 2, the Saint John region, has the highest positive rate of the province,” said Higgs.

Higgs says a 14-day circuit breaker in the Saint John area will come into effect on Friday at 6 p.m.

All schools will remain open, unless otherwise advised by Public Health.

The circuit breaker still includes Zone 1 (Moncton region) as far north as and including Sainte-Anne-de-Kent and including Havelock in Zone 2; the northern portion of Zone 3 from and including Deerville and Florenceville-Bristol, but excluding Hayesville and Parker Ridge; and all of Zone 4 (Edmundston region).

“The actions we have taken have had a positive impact,” said Higgs during Thursday’s news update. We went from over 1000 positive cases to 549, and a high of 68 people in hospital to 31. However our hospitals are still under pressure with 120 regional health authority staff absent due to COVID-related reasons.”

Hospitalization triggers in the mandatory order are what the province uses to decide whether to lift the circuit breaker, Higgs told CTV Atlantic in an interview Thursday.

"We wanted to get down to 10 in hospital," Higgs said. "We had a kind of a range here, of less than 25, but down to 10 to reduce a mandatory order. Our hospitalizations were still in red, and maybe we'll go to orange, but we're still having impacts on elective surgeries."

You can find more information online about the circuit breaker rules and the areas it covers, including maps.  

CASE DATA

New Brunswick has had 6,332 cumulative cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

In total, 5,668 people have recovered and 114 people have died in the province from COVID-19.

Public health says a total of 524,097 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: 1,844 confirmed cases (216 active cases)
  • Zone 2 – Saint John region: 649 confirmed cases (92 active cases)
  • Zone 3 – Fredericton region: 1,291 confirmed cases (88 active cases)
  • Zone 4 – Edmundston region: 1,423 confirmed cases (66 active case)
  • Zone 5 – Campbellton region: 673 confirmed cases (61 active cases)
  • Zone 6 – Bathurst region: 290 confirmed cases (7 active cases)
  • Zone 7 – Miramichi region: 162 confirmed cases (14 active cases)

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

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

Eighteen cases are under investigation and five cases are related to travel.

Twenty-six new cases were reported in the Saint John region (Zone 2) involving:

  • 10 people age 19 and under
  • six people in their 20s
  • three people in their 30s
  • four people in their 40s
  • one person in their 50s
  • two people in their 60s

Twenty-four cases are under investigation, one case is a contact of a previously confirmed case and one case is related to travel.

Seven new cases were reported in the Fredericton region (Zone 3) involving:

  • two people age 19 and under
  • one person in their 20s
  • two people in their 40s
  • one person in their 60s
  • one person in their 70s

Six cases are under investigation and one case is related to travel.

Five new cases were reported in the Edmundston region (Zone 4) involving:

  • one person age 19 and under
  • two people in their 40s
  • one person in their 60s
  • one person in their 70s

All five cases are under investigation.

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

  • three people age 19 and under
  • one person in their 40s
  • one person in their 80s

Two cases are under investigation, one is a contact of a previously confirmed case and two cases are related to travel.

Two new cases were reported in the Bathurst region (Zone 6) involving a person in their 20s and a person in their 60s. One case is under investigation and the other is related to travel.

One new case was reported in the Miramichi region (Zone 7) involving a person in their 40s, and is under investigation.

VACCINE UPDATE

As of Thursday, 84.3 per cent of New Brunswickers age 12 and older are fully vaccinated and 92.3 per cent have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

In total, 1,229,346 vaccine doses have been administered in New Brunswick.

All provincial government employees, staff in long-term care facilities and staff and volunteers in schools and licensed early learning and child-care facilities must be fully vaccinated by Friday, Nov. 19.

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.