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New Brunswick reports no new cases of COVID-19 on Monday

New Brunswick officials warn people not to go too far with new freedoms
WATCH: Some public health measures aimed at controlling spread of COVID-19 were loosened for the first time during the weekend, with New Brunswick hoping people don’t go overboard. Silas Brown reports.

For a fifth straight day, New Brunswick reported no new cases of COVID-19.

The number of confirmed cases remains at 120, with two active cases. One case is still under investigation to determine if it’s related to travel or a result of community transmission.

The province’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell is continuing to stress the importance of testing, even as the number of cases has remained fairly stable.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Some New Brunswick businesses unhappy with abrupt transition into reopening

“I do encourage everyone who has symptoms to call 811 and get tested. That is the only way we can find cases, if we get tested,” she said.

Monday’s update was the first since the province announced the beginning of the second phase of its recovery plan, which allows many businesses across the province to reopen their doors.

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Premier Blaine Higgs says he hopes New Brunswickers continue to be on guard, even as they gain more freedoms.

“I think people were anxious to get out in the open and exercise some degree of normality,” he said.

“It’s important that through it all people are recognizing that we’re only going to be able to continue on this path if our health requirements are met. Let’s not over do it.”

READ MORE: No new cases of COVID-19 reported in New Brunswick

Some businesses called the decision abrupt and say they were caught off guard by the sudden loosening of restrictions. But Higgs says the province tried to prepare businesses for the announcement and that after two weeks of no new cases, movement on the recovery plan was to be expected.

Higgs also said plenty of information about what would be required of businesses when they did open was available online.

“No one has to open, they don’t all have to come open at once, they can open when they’re ready and they have to be in compliance,” he said.

“They can take the time to do it right, but it shouldn’t really have been a surprise.”

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Efforts to fill vacant jobs are also being stepped up.

According to the premier there are about 500 positions on the province’s new job match site, with almost 400 workers whom have created profiles on the site. The province will hold a virtual job fair on Tuesday hoping to connect New Brunswickers with jobs normally filled by temporary foreign workers.

The government is also making a change aimed at improving the end of life experience of those in palliative care.

Patients will now be able to choose two people to visit them. Visitors will have to practice physical distancing and will be asked to closely monitor themselves for symptoms and stay away should they develop any.