New Brunswick reports 8 new cases of COVID-19 and a death in Edmundston region

Click to play video: 'Edmundston area moves back to orange phase of COVID-19 recovery'
Edmundston area moves back to orange phase of COVID-19 recovery
WATCH: An outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared at the regional hospital in Edmundston. As a result, public health is moving that area back to the orange recovery phase, meaning tighter pandemic restrictions for that area. Travis Fortnum reports – Dec 11, 2020

New Brunswick reported eight new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and recorded the eighth death in the province.

According to public health, an individual in their 60s died Friday in Zone 4 as a result of underlying complications, including COVID-19.

“This reminds us, once again, that behind the numbers and statistics of the COVID-19 pandemic are people,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health.

“This was a fellow New Brunswicker who enjoyed life and love, with family and friends who cherished them. I offer my heartfelt sympathy to the family and loved ones of the deceased. Please know that we all share in the grief you are experiencing.”

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Six of the cases reported are in Zone 4 (Edmundston region). They are close contacts of previously confirmed cases and are self-isolating, according to health officials.

The cases involve:

  • One individual aged 30 to 39
  • One individual aged 40 to 49
  • Three individuals aged 50 to 59
  • One individual aged 60 to 69

The other two cases are travel-related and are self-isolating. One individual is aged 30 to 39 in Zone 3 (Fredericton region) and the other aged 60 to 69 in Zone 6 (Bathurst region).

The province said the total number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 554 and 468 people have recovered.

The number of active cases is 78 with four cases currently in the hospital, including three in intensive care. As of Friday, 137,234 tests have been conducted.

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Edmundston region moving to orange

The province also announced that Zone 4 (Edmundston region) will move to the orange level effective at midnight under the province’s revised coronavirus recovery plan.

Public Health said it recommended the move “due to the escalating case counts, an outbreak in a high-vulnerability setting where there is risk of transmission to the community, and the impact on the health-care system and its ability to serve the community.”

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Health Minister Dorothy Shephard said the good news is that every time the province has had to move a zone to orange, it’s been able to quickly get the situation under control.

In the meantime, all other zones in New Brunswick remain at the yellow level.

Case at Saint Mary’s Academy

On Thursday, a positive case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Saint Mary’s Academy in Edmundston and as of today staff and students have been staying at home.

“School staff will contact families directly if there are any further impacts on learning,” said the province.

At this time, public health said no student-to-student transmission has been determined in any school.

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“If you or a family member have been in close contact with this case, you will be notified by Public Health through contact tracing. If you do not hear directly from Public Health, you have not been identified as a close contact,” said health officials.

Mandatory order revised

The province announced that the state of emergency mandatory order was revised Friday to move Zone 4 to the orange level and adjust requirements.

In a statement, the province said a change has been made to the requirements of masks at the orange level.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: New Brunswick’s top doctor outlines changes to mask guidelines'
Coronavirus: New Brunswick’s top doctor outlines changes to mask guidelines

“While masks are still required indoors and outdoors in public spaces, they are only required outdoors when physical distancing of two metres cannot be maintained,” the province said.

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“The change comes after a review by Public Health weighing the risks of contracting the virus.”

At the orange level, masks are required when at a drive-thru window. However, masks are no longer required when accessing a drive-thru in regions at the yellow alert level. This change was made because the risk level is low, according to the government.

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