New Brunswick confirms first presumptive coronavirus case, discourages mass gatherings

Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health, addresses media on March 12, 2020. Silas Brown/Global News

New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Jennifer Russell, announced Thursday at a conference that the first presumptive COVID-19 case has been confirmed.

Russell said that the case relates to a woman between the ages of 50 and 60 who had travelled from France.

“The person was self-monitoring, then immediately self-isolated when she developed symptoms and called 811,” said Russell.

READ MORE: Presumptive case of coronavirus recorded in New Brunswick, says health official

She also noted that all the people who came in contact with the woman have been self-isolating.

To address public anxiety in the wake of the first confirmed case, Russell said that she’s strongly encouraging non-essential activities and events of 100 people or more to be suspended.

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She recommends that people avoid shaking hands, maintain proper hygiene, keep a six-foot distance from people and avoid buffet-style eating, and for event gatherers to safely isolate those who become ill on site.

Click to play video: 'Dalhousie University COVID-19 Research Network' Dalhousie University COVID-19 Research Network
Dalhousie University COVID-19 Research Network – Mar 12, 2020
“It’s about minimizing close contact. Most of the cases are travel-related, and [have been transmitted] within six feet and two metres,” Russell said.

Horizon Health Network has also announced an update to minimize close contact. It stated in a tweet that anyone who has traveled outside the country is restricted from visiting any patient in their facilities for 14 days after returning to Canada.

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Canada has now surpassed 100 cases of the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, according to tallies from the provinces.

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As of Thursday, Johns Hopkins CSSE said there were more than 127,500 confirmed cases worldwide. There have been more than 4,700 deaths.

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