New Brunswick has announced a new presumptive case of COVID-19 in the province — a boy under the age of 10.
Provincial health officials gave the update on Tuesday during a daily briefing on the province’s efforts to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province’s chief medical officer of health, said the newest presumptive case is connected to another travel-related case.
“This is not unexpected,” she said on Tuesday.
“We expected clusters of cases that are travel-related.”
There are now eight total cases of COVID-19 in the province: six presumptive cases and two confirmed cases.
Russell introduced a number of new measures with the goal of freeing up health-care professionals.
Physicians are now able to meet their patients virtually in order to provide prescriptions and routine checkups. The same applies for mental health services.
Patients can still go to their family physicians for followup appointments and tests.
The chief medical officer of health also asked that New Brunswick residents who travelled on WestJet Flight 3440 from Toronto to Moncton on March 7 self-isolate.
A woman who returned to P.E.I. after travelling on that flight has now tested positive for COVID-19.
In a press conference earlier on Tuesday, Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I.’s chief medical officer of health, said that a woman in her 50s from the Queens County area tested positive for the virus after returning from travel on a cruise ship.
The woman remains in self-isolation with mild symptoms.
New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs also stressed the importance of not travelling unless absolutely necessary.
“Right now, the best thing we can do, whenever possible, is to stay home,” said Higgs, reminding citizens to stay away from the province’s care homes.
Higgs said the Department of Social Development has introduced an urgent placement program for those who need to be placed in care homes.
The department said it will be moving 65 people around the province to a location within 100 kilometres of their permanent address. This is being done to provide more capacity for people facing serious illness.
Access to the province’s correctional facilities has also been curtailed. All facilities are now closed to members of the public including family members, volunteers and legal representatives.
The premier stressed that stores are not running out of food and that empty shelves are being restocked quickly.
Higgs also urged the federal government to introduce assistance to small businesses that have had to close in order to adhere to social-distancing measures implemented by the province.
“We are not going to leave people at home without necessities,” said Higgs.
All non-essential provincial employees are now working from home, as part of an effort to promote social-distancing.
On Tuesday, Russell welcomed the closure of all child-care centres in the province except those that serve children of essential workers — a recommendation she had made to the province on Monday.
Closures have also gone into effect at the following locations:
- performance spaces
- swimming pools, spas, saunas and water parks
- recreational sites such as ski resorts, amusement parks, trampoline centres, etc.
- cinemas and arcades
- training centres and dance, spinning, zumba and yoga centres
- indoor soccer centres
- restaurants that offer buffets
- sugar bush operations open to the public
Public health is also asking restaurant owners to limit the number of customers to 50 per cent of the capacity of their dining areas.
Russell said on Monday that the actions people are taking “can and will save lives.”View link »