New Brunswick to reinstate state of emergency as province reports record COVID-19 cases, three more deaths

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Halifax – New Brunswick will return to a state of emergency as the province continues to grapple with a rising fourth wave of COVID-19, officials announced Friday.

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“The situation we currently face in New Brunswick is really dire. That’s why, on the advice of public health, Cabinet is reinstating a state of emergency, and is bringing in a mandatory order by 11:59 PM tonight ,” said Premier Blaine Higgs.

During Friday’s news update, Higgs announced that the following restrictions would take effect at 11:59 p.m. Friday.

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All public health measures announced earlier remain in place. The following additional measures will be implemented under the mandated order:

  • People should limit their contacts to their family and 20 frequent contacts.

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    Indoor private gatherings will be limited to 20 frequent contacts.

  • As long as physical distancing is followed, there will be no limit on outdoor gatherings.

  • Businesses and events where people gather or exercise, including museums, cinemas, theaters, bingo halls, casinos, entertainment centers, arenas, game rooms, pool halls, live entertainment venues, weddings, funerals, gyms, yoga studios and Similar places are included. Employees are fully vaccinated or constantly masked and tested regularly. Patrons and participants entering such events are required to be fully vaccinated.

  • Physical distancing is required in businesses, services or events where proof of vaccination is not required, such as grocery and retail stores, private businesses and libraries.

Faith sites have the option of either ensuring that all participants show proof of complete vaccination, or implementing the following measures:

  • operate at 50 percent capacity;

  • maintaining physical distance;

  • Ensuring continuous mask use;

  • Record the names of all attendees or make seating arrangements;

  • eliminating singing from services; And

  • Prevent anyone displaying COVID-19 symptoms and who have been instructed to self-isolate from entering.

“It is unfortunate to return to a state of emergency, however, it is necessary. We need to slow the spread of COVID-19 and ensure that the number of hospitalizations does not continue to rise,” Higgs said.

Higgs also announced that going forward, the province would return to a state of emergency at any time when more than 25 people were hospitalized in the province.

“We must do this because of the number of hospitalizations this puts on our health care system. As hospitalizations decrease, mandatory orders and public health measures will remain in effect to ensure our hospitalizations decrease,” Higgs said.

Higgs said there are currently 31 people in the hospital, 15 of whom are in the intensive care unit. Of the 31 patients, 27 or 87 percent are not fully vaccinated.

“We knew there would be more cases of COVID-19 after the mandatory order was lifted at the end of July. But the speed of this fourth wave is beyond our expectation,” said New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Jennifer Russell said.

Russell says the province has been reporting an average of 67 new cases per day for the past week, with hospitalizations increasing by an average of one patient per day.

“It is clear that our current situation is very serious,” Russell said. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have worked to protect New Brunswickers. We have also worked to preserve the health care system on which we all depend. We haven’t hesitated to take action to limit the spread of this virus, and we won’t hesitate now.”

Three deaths, 78 new cases on Friday

Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting three COVID-19 related deaths on Friday, bringing the total number of people who have died as a result of the virus to 52.

During Friday’s news update, Dr. Jennifer Russell announced the deaths of one person in their 70s from the Moncton area, one person in their 80s from the Moncton area, and more than 90 people from the Edmondston area.

Russell also announced a record 78 new cases for a day on Friday, as well as 76 recoveries, as the number of active cases in the province rose to 573.

According to health officials, of the 78 new cases reported on Friday, 59 or 76 per cent have not been fully vaccinated.

“If you live without vaccinations, you probably believe that the disease will not affect you because of your age or current health condition. But the greatest risk affects all of us equally, and that risk is the risk that COVID-19 is taking. -19 presents to our health care system,” Russell said.

During a technical briefing on Friday, Horizon Health Network’s chief infectious disease expert said the province got it wrong when it decided to lift all health-protection measures on July 30.

During Friday’s technical briefing, Dr. Gordon Dow said, “All of us in this room right now, with the evidence of this rapid increase in delta virus in the province, we can all agree that this was not the right decision.”

“Many other jurisdictions made the same mistake. Alberta made the mistake, except they did it a month before us. Saskatchewan made a mistake. The United States made a mistake. The UK made a mistake. Too many mistakes were made.”

Dow says senior health officials in the province can all agree that the lifting of all restrictions was a mistake, at a time when there was plenty of evidence to suggest that the rapid spread of the highly infectious Delta variant was causing the province to will decline.

New Brunswick has reported 866 cases this month – almost a quarter of the total cases reported since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

The province’s chief COVID-19 epidemiologist said an average of 1.5 additional cases were reported for each case reported in September.

Dr. Matthew Chalifoux also said that over 85 percent of cases in September are related to the delta variant.

COVID-19 Case Data

There have been 3,707 cumulative cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick since the start of the pandemic.

A total of 3,081 people have been cured of Kovid-19 in the state and 52 people have died.

Public Health says a total of 448,802 COVID-19 tests have been processed since the start of the pandemic.

The number of cases is broken down by New Brunswick’s seven health areas:

  • Zone 1 – Moncton area: 978 confirmed cases (137 active cases)

  • Zone 2 – St. John’s Zone: 371 confirmed cases (30 active cases)

  • Zone 3 – Fredericton area: 776 confirmed cases (187 active cases)

  • Zone 4 – Edmundston area: 925 confirmed cases (97 active cases)

  • Zone 5 – Campbelton area: 376 confirmed cases (89 active cases)

  • Zone 6 – Bathurst area: 190 confirmed cases (21 active cases)

  • Zone 7 – Miramichi Zone: 91 confirmed cases (12 active cases)

case breakdown

Eight new cases were reported in the Moncton area (Zone 1), including:

  • two guys in their 20s

  • their 30s. three people in

  • two guys in their 40s

  • a man in his 70s

Three cases are under investigation, three are contacts of already confirmed cases and two are travel related cases.

Six new cases were reported in St John’s area (Zone 2):

  • a person who is 19 years of age and under

  • a man in his 20s

  • a man in his 40s

  • a man in his 50s

  • two guys in the 70s

Three cases are under investigation and three are contacts of already confirmed cases.

Twenty-eight new cases were reported in the Fredericton area (Zone 3), including:

  • Seven people aged 19 years and under

  • five people in their 20s

  • their 30s. three people in

  • four guys in their 40s

  • four guys in their 50s

  • two guys in the 60s

  • three guys in the 70s

Sixteen cases are under investigation and 12 are contacts of already confirmed cases.

Twenty-two new cases were reported in the Edmundston area (Zone 4):

  • 11 people who are 19 years old and under

  • two guys in their 20s

  • two guys in their 30s

  • four guys in their 40s

  • two guys in the 50s

  • a man in his 60s

Thirteen cases are under investigation and nine are contacts of already confirmed cases.

Thirteen new cases were reported in the Campbelton area (Zone 5), including:

  • Four people 19 years and under

  • a man in his 20s

  • two guys in their 30s

  • three guys in their 40s

  • two guys in the 50s

  • a man in his 70s

Eight cases are under investigation and five are contacts of already confirmed cases.

A new case was reported in Miramichi area (Zone 7), involving a man in his 70s, which is being investigated.

Vaccine Update

As of Thursday, 78.6 percent of New Brunswickers age 12 and older have been fully vaccinated and 87.4 percent have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

In total, 1,155,893 vaccine doses have been given in New Brunswick.

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

potential public exposure

Anyone with symptoms of the virus, as well as anyone who has been at a site of potential public exposure, is urged to call tele-care at 811 to request an online test or make an appointment.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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