Advertisement

COVID-19 outbreak in zone 5 ends as New Brunswick warns against holiday gatherings

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: New Brunswick’s top doctor advises against holiday travel, stresses small gatherings' Coronavirus: New Brunswick’s top doctor advises against holiday travel, stresses small gatherings
New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell advised Thursday against non-essential travel during the upcoming holiday season and reminded residents of the requirement to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to the province. She stressed on the importance of keeping holiday gatherings as small as possible – Dec 3, 2020

New Brunswick says the COVID-19 outbreak in zone 5, or the Campbellton-area, has been declared over, the province’s health officials announced on Thursday.

That outbreak in Campbellton began on Oct. 9, and although zone 5 was moved out of the province’s heightened COVID-19 response on Nov. 5, it took until now for the province to declare the outbreak over.

Read more: New Brunswick reports 6 new COVID-19 cases, potential exposure on flight

“It really was a collective effort,” Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health, said at the provincial COVID-19 update Thursday.

Outbreaks are only declared after two 14-day cycles have passed without a new case appearing in the area.

Click to play video 'New Brunswick to reassess COVID-19 orange zones this weekend' New Brunswick to reassess COVID-19 orange zones this weekend
New Brunswick to reassess COVID-19 orange zones this weekend – Dec 3, 2020

 

Story continues below advertisement

Six additional cases

The province reported six additional cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.

The new figures push New Brunswick to 111 active cases.

There have been 520 cases in the province since the pandemic began, 402 of which are now considered recovered.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: New Brunswick’s COVID-19 outbreak in zone 5 declared over' Coronavirus: New Brunswick’s COVID-19 outbreak in zone 5 declared over
Coronavirus: New Brunswick’s COVID-19 outbreak in zone 5 declared over – Dec 3, 2020

There have been 7 deaths related to the coronavirus in the province.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

New Brunswick has completed 129,970 tests since the outbreak began.

Saint John to lag behind Moncton and Fredericton

Russell announced on Thursday that the province had completed another round of testing at the Parkland nursing home in Saint John, which has an ongoing outbreak.

Story continues below advertisement

In this round of testing, no more residents tested positive, Russell said.

One employee, who had already been self-isolating, tested positive.

There are currently 16 confirmed cases linked to the site, six employees and 10 residents.

Read more: How New Brunswick’s four-step plan to recover from COVID-19 works

At this time the Saint John, Moncton and Fredericton zones remain under the orange phase of the province’s COVID-19 recovery plan.

Premier Blaine Higgs said that he hopes to see the Moncton and Fredericton zones transition to the yellow phase soon.

Russell said officials will re-assess the Moncton and Fredericton zones on Sunday.

Saint John will likely lag behind the two other zones, Higgs said.

The premier also provided more information on how many people have been ticketed for violating the province’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Click to play video 'N.B. education minister urging parents to send their kids to school amid active COVID-19 case count' N.B. education minister urging parents to send their kids to school amid active COVID-19 case count
N.B. education minister urging parents to send their kids to school amid active COVID-19 case count – Dec 1, 2020

He said that between Nov. 20 and Nov. 28, 87 tickets were handed out for not following the province’s masking guidelines.

Story continues below advertisement

In Moncton the province handed out 45 tickets while 40 tickets were handed out in Saint John and two tickets were handed out in Fredericton.

Higgs also said the province issued 38 tickets to business for various COVID-19-related infractions.

He said 17 of those tickets were handed out in Moncton, 21 were in Saint John and none were issued in Fredericton.

“I was very supportive of our surveillance of following the rules and as I said a little earlier, I certainly commend our officers for their diligence,” said Higgs.

‘Make the most out Christmas with COVID’

During the COVID-19 update, Higgs and Russell asked New Brunswickers to prepare for a different kind of holiday season this year.

They both stressed that COVID-19 is likely to make large gatherings impossible if not dangerous.

Russell stressed that this is not the year to spend the holidays in an exotic locale and that non-essential travel is not being advised at this time.

Click to play video 'QMJHL players hope to be back on ice soon after games cancelled' QMJHL players hope to be back on ice soon after games cancelled
QMJHL players hope to be back on ice soon after games cancelled – Dec 2, 2020

She said that residents should get creative and focus on what they can do, rather than focusing on what they can’t.

Story continues below advertisement

Family who are travelling from outside the province into New Brunswick must self-isolate the entire time, or if they are spending fewer than 14 days, the entirety of their visit, Russell said.

The province has since released guidance for individuals and for businesses on its website.

Higgs offered his own personal decision-making for this holiday season.

He said his two daughters and their families will not be travelling home to New Brunswick for Christmas and that he will have to celebrate his mother’s 100th birthday virtually, rather than in person.

“Let’s make the most out of Christmas with COVID,” Higgs said.