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New Brunswick announces 6 additional COVID-19 cases

Coronavirus outbreak: N.B. premier says ministers may become more involved as pandemic progresses
Facing questions about the level of access to ministers regarding questions regarding different departments' individual responses to the COVID-19 outbreak, New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs said Friday that he and chief medical officer Dr. Jennifer Russell were the main contacts to provide continuity for all stakeholders.

New Brunswick has detected six new cases of COVID-19 in the province, bringing the total number of cases to 51 as of Saturday.

There was no in-person update on Saturday, but according to a press release from the province’s department of public health, the cases include:

  • An individual aged 50-59 in the southeast of the province
  • An individual aged 70-79 in the southeast of the province
  • Two individuals aged 20-29 in the south of the province
  • An individual aged 50-59 in the south of the province
  • An individual aged 70-79 in the south of the province

READ MORE: Social distancing is out, physical distancing is in — here’s how to do it

The province’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Jennifer Russell, emphasized physical distancing, a term that is increasingly being used instead of social distancing.

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Vital importance of physical distancing during COVID-19 pandemic
Vital importance of physical distancing during COVID-19 pandemic

It’s believed that the new terminology — physical distancing — will better help people understand what they need to do to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

“I cannot emphasize strongly enough how important it is to continue to follow the guidelines regarding physical distancing, remaining at home and frequent hand-washing,” said Russell.

“These practices will save lives.”

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On Friday, officials announced it was revising its testing protocols to include symptomatic health-care workers in the province as they began to investigate the first suspected case of community transmission in New Brunswick.

Under the new guidelines, any health care worker who has had direct contact with patients and who has developed COVID-19 symptoms since March 20, is directed to immediately self-isolate.

New Brunswick investigating first possible case of COVID-19 community transmission
New Brunswick investigating first possible case of COVID-19 community transmission

Symptoms include fever with a temperature of 38°C or higher, a new or worsening cough and shortness of breath.

According to the press release from the province, Russell suggests New Brunswickers enjoy the outdoors due to the good weather forecast this weekend — as long as they practise physical distancing.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

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Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.