New Brunswick announced first new case of COVID-19 in 16 days

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WATCH: New Brunswick's COVID-free streak is over. But even as the province reports its first new case in more than two weeks, the province's top doctor is urging people to stay the course. Silas Brown has more – May 5, 2020

New Brunswick has confirmed one new case of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 119. This is considered the only active case.

The patient is a man in his 30s who was tested in the Fredericton health region. Officials are not yet sure if the case is travel related or another instance of community spread.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell said the new case is a good reminder that the fight against the virus is not over.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Passenger on Toronto-Moncton WestJet flight tests positive

“This is a timely reminder that COVID-19 is with us here in New Brunswick as well as in provinces and states that surround us,” she said. “We must be ready to address new cases when they emerge as has happened today and continue to do the things that will slow down the spread of the virus.”

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“Don’t be discouraged. The best measure of success is not an absence of new cases, but how effectively we respond when new cases emerge.”

The new case is not related to the alert issued by the Greater Moncton Roméo LeBlanc International Airport on Monday that a person who tested positive for COVID-19 passed through the airport on April 27. The person traveled on WestJet 3456 from Toronto, which arrived in Moncton at 1:52 p.m.

READ MORE: ‘We have flattened the curve’: N.B. reports no new cases of coronavirus for 16th consecutive day

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Moreover, that person was not tested in New Brunswick and is not believed to be in the province. Dr. Russell said that public health does not know if the passenger came into close contact with any New Brunswickers while in the province.

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Both Dr. Russell and premier Blaine Higgs have spoken at length over the last several days about strengthening controls at the border. Dr. Russell says many are still being turned away from the border for trying to enter the province for unessential reasons.

At airports and land borders travelers are being questioned, and Dr. Russell says more measures are being discussed.

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“We’ve had several meetings in the last week around how can we tighten things up, how can we make things very clear and definitive so we can make sure that our borders are not as porous as they are right now,” she said.

But when asked if measures such as temperature checks are on the table Dr. Russell said the focus remains on determining if a person’s travel is essential or not.

“They have a screening process right now around what is your need to be in New Brunswick, are you traveling for essential reasons only,” she said.


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