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N.B. to make masks mandatory in indoor public places, 3 new COVID-19 cases reported

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WATCH: As parts of New Brunswick see an increase of COVID-19 cases, the province is going back to its phased approach to determine which businesses can stay open. Moncton hairdressers and estheticians say they're being treated unfairly. Shelley Steeves has the story – Oct 13, 2020

The New Brunswick government announced Thursday that masks will become mandatory in most indoor public places, effective at midnight.

Read more: New Brunswick reports 17 new COVID-19 cases linked to Norte-Dame Manor outbreak

“Based upon what we are seeing in our neighbouring provinces and the outbreak in Moncton, we know how quickly the virus can spread through a community,” Premier Blaine Higgs said at a press briefing. “We must take every possible measure to prevent that from happening in our province.”

Click to play video 'New Brunswick makes masks mandatory in all indoor public spaces' New Brunswick makes masks mandatory in all indoor public spaces
New Brunswick makes masks mandatory in all indoor public spaces – Oct 8, 2020

According to the province, masks will become mandatory in most indoor places to curb the spread of the coronavirus. This includes:

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  • Public spaces where the public and employees interact (retail businesses, malls, service centres, places of worship, restaurants and bars except while eating, etc.) and organized indoor gatherings in public spaces (e.g. weddings, funerals, etc.).
  • Common areas like lobbies, elevators and hallways, and public shared spaces, including those in private sector and government workspaces.
  • Public transportation.

“Continuous mask use is still required in seated venues with one metre physical distancing,” the province said in a statement.

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As approved by the Pandemic Task Force, children under two are exempt from wearing masks, as well as those with a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask.

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The province said that according to a survey by the Department of Justice and Public Safety, the average portion of people wearing masks is 36 per cent.

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“Unfortunately, there are too many people who are not wearing their masks when required,” said Higgs.

“We recognize this is a major announcement and businesses and individuals may need time to adjust. We are asking for people to comply immediately. Peace officers will be monitoring to ensure people are wearing masks as required.”

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: N.B. makes masks mandatory in indoor public settings' Coronavirus: N.B. makes masks mandatory in indoor public settings
Coronavirus: N.B. makes masks mandatory in indoor public settings – Oct 8, 2020

According to the province, there are resources for businesses available on the provincial government’s coronavirus website, including signs that can be printed and posted.

“It is about respecting and protecting each other,” Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, said at the briefing. “Wearing masks or face coverings helps prevent you from unknowingly spreading COVID-19 and helps prevent the people around you from spreading it to you.”

Three new cases

Public Health reported three new cases of COVID-19 Thursday.

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The new cases include an individual in their 20s in Zone 3 (Fredericton region), related to international travel, who is self-isolating. The second is that of an individual between 30s in Zone 5 (Campbellton region), with the province stating that the case is under investigation and the individual is self-isolating.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: New Brunswick reports 3 new cases of COVID-19, 2 linked to travel “outside Atlantic bubble”' Coronavirus: New Brunswick reports 3 new cases of COVID-19, 2 linked to travel “outside Atlantic bubble”
Coronavirus: New Brunswick reports 3 new cases of COVID-19, 2 linked to travel “outside Atlantic bubble” – Oct 8, 2020

The third case is that of an individual in their 40s in Zone 2 (Saint John region) related to travel outside of the Atlantic bubble and the person is self-isolating.

The province said the number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 225 and 199 people have recovered.

There have been two deaths, and the number of active cases is 24. Three patients are hospitalized with one in an intensive care unit. As of Thursday, 82,365 tests have been conducted.

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