There are 10 new cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick, bringing the province’s total to 91.
New Brunswick chief public health officer Dr. Jennifer Russell announced the new cases at a press briefing in Fredericton on Thursday.
Russell said the province has its first confirmed case in Zone 7, the Miramichi region. The person is in their 20s.
There’s one new case in the Saint John area, six new cases in central region, and two others in the northwest region.
There are now 19 cases in the Moncton area, 22 in the Saint John area, 33 in the Fredericton area, seven in the Edmundston area, nine in the Campbellton area, one in the Miramichi are and none in the Bathurst area.
Russell clarified that the numbers outlined represent where the individual was tested, not where they reside.
Of the confirmed cases, 59 per cent are female and 41 per cent are male.
According to statistics recently posted on the province’s website, the age group that has the most confirmed cases is the 50 to 59 category.
To date, 4,224 tests have come back negative. Three people remain in hospital, including one person in intensive care.
Members of church community test positive
Russell also announced there are five individuals involved in a church community that have tested positive. She says public health is taking steps to inform the church community and will remain in regular contact with those at risk of being infected.
The community where the contact tracing was not released, as Russell says there is currently not a known risk of public exposure.
“In this particular case it’s a church community where all the members of the church were notified,” she said.
State of emergency revisions
On Wednesday, Premier Blaine Higgs announced the province would be extending the state of emergency. He announced revisions to the state of emergency on Thursday, which prohibit people from knowingly approaching another person within two metres or six feet.
Those rule applies to everyone except members of the same household or if it’s needed for work.
Open fires are also banned for the month and campgrounds are prohibited from operating.
“Those who don’t follow advice and who won’t respond to warnings now face the risk of being charged for violating the order,” Higgs said.
Public schools to stay closed
Earlier in the day Thursday, New Brunswick Education Minister Dominic Cardy announced public schools would remain closed for the duration of the school year unless things “drastically improve.”
Cardy said students will be asked to spend from one to two-and-a-half hours a day on home learning, depending on their grade level.
The school year will not be extended.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
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.
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