New Brunswick reports 6 new cases of COVID-19

New Brunswick officials announced six new cases of COVID-19 in the province Sunday.

The new cases bring the total of active infections in the province to 77. One person is in hospital related to the virus.

That announcement follows a significant rise in the Moncton and Saint John regions, including a single-day high for the province on Saturday when 23 cases were reported.

The Moncton and Saint John regions returned to tighter restrictions under the orange phase last week.

The new cases include five in the Saint John region (Zone 2), and one in the Fredericton region (Zone 3).

Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province’s chief medical officer, urged New Brunswickers to commit to slowing the spread of COVID-19.

“We need everyone in all corners of the province to reduce their close contacts to the lowest number possible and to follow public health measures,” she said in a statement.

Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, urged New Brunswickers to reduce their close contacts. (Government of New Brunswick)

The new cases in the Saint John region are three people 19 and under and two people 20-29. There are 32 active cases in the region.

In the Fredericton region, the new case is a person 30-39.

Premier Blaine Higgs warned on Saturday that the entire province could be rolled back to orange-level restrictions if the current rise in cases continues.

Two schools in the region have also confirmed cases, and one has identified exposure.

The University of New Brunswick’s Saint John campus said members of its community may have been exposed to a confirmed case.

No new cases in Saint John nursing home

There are no new cases of COVID-19 at Shannex: Tucker Hall, a nursing home in Saint John.

Public Health declared an outbreak on Friday after an employee tested positive. The facility has four positive cases, including three residents.

The Saint John region is now in the orange phase. (CBC)

Employees and residents were tested on Friday, but not all test results have been returned, according to a statement from Shannex.

The company said families of residents who tested positive have been contacted. It expects to receive updated test results on Sunday afternoon, and will provide a further update.

Potential public exposure

Many businesses in the Saint John region are reporting potential exposure and positive cases, including restaurants, bars, gyms and a dinner theatre.

Public Health only shares information when officials are not able to contact all people who may have been exposed.

Contact tracing identified four new locations with potential public exposure in the Saint John area, all on Nov. 14:

  • Eighty-Three Bar Arcade, between midnight and 2 a.m. (43 Princess St., Saint John).

  • O’Leary’s Pub, between midnight and 2 a.m. (46 Princess St., Saint John).

  • Callie’s Pub, between midnight and 2 a.m. (2 Princess St., Saint John).

  • Let’s Hummus, between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. (44 Water St., Saint John).

People at those locations during the listed times should self-monitor for 14 days. If symptoms develop, they should self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19.

Reduced hospital services

Hospitals and medical clinics in the orange zones rolled out visitor restrictions and some have reduced services.

Horizon Health Network said some services may be suspended at the Saint John Regional Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital. 

Visitor restrictions are in place at Saint John Regional, St. Joseph’s, Sussex Health Centre, Charlotte County Hospital and Grand Manan Hospital.

Visitor restrictions are in place at the Saint John Regional Hospital. (Wikipedia)

Some exceptions are allowed for critical care, obstetrics, pediatrics, neonatal, palliative care, and the New Brunswick Heart Centre.

Vitalité Health Network also announced the suspension of all visits at orange zone hospitals, which include the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre and Stella-Maris-de-Kent Hospital.

There are exceptions for patients in the obstetric, pediatric and intensive care units to allow one visitor per patient. Two visitors are permitted for palliative care patients.

Stricter enforcement in orange-level regions

New Brunswick residents are advised to avoid all non-essential travel in and out of the orange zones.

Peace officers, police and Public Health inspectors are in Zones 1 and 2 to monitor compliance with the stricter rules.

Residents of the Saint John and Moncton regions are now required to maintain single-household bubbles. This can be extended to caregivers or an immediate family member who lives alone and needs support.

There are also tighter limits on gatherings.

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