New Brunswick reported 31 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 110.
This is the largest single-day increase in numbers New Brunswick has seen since the pandemic began in March 2020.
In a Wednesday briefing, chief of health Dr. Jennifer Russell said the province is not in a good situation and this trend may continue.
“Things will likely get worse before they get better,” Russell said.
Russell said her hope is that New Brunswickers go back to following public health guidelines to protect the most vulnerable.
“The alternative is hospital beds filled with COVID-19 patients and health-care workers being overwhelmed,” Russell said. The alternative is also stricter restrictions and hundreds of new cases every day as seen in neighbouring places like Quebec and Maine, she said.
As of Tuesday, the entire province is under the orange phase of COVID-19 recovery. The numbers of active cases per region are the following:
- Moncton: 38
- Saint John: 22
- Fredericton: 34
- Edmundston: 6
- Campbellton: 9
- Bathurst: 1
- Miramichi: 0
“To get back to yellow, we must all double our efforts,” Russell said.
As of Wednesday, there are 97 health-care staff that are out of work for reasons related to COVID-19, either infected or isolating.
Russell said followup testing at Tucker Hall in Parkland Saint John, a long-term care facility dealing with an outbreak, resulted in 15 new cases being confirmed. The cases involve 11 residents and four staff members.
She said a COVID-19 management unit is at the facility and another round of testing is scheduled for later this week.
Health Minister Dorothy Shephard said in the Wednesday briefing that her thoughts are with the residents, staff and families at the facility.
Shephard said the COVID-19 vaccine will be available to long-term care residents as soon as the province receives enough doses. She said New Brunswick is prepared to vaccinate tens of thousands of residents weekly once enough vaccine is available.
Shephard said New Brunswickers must follow Public Health guidelines to contain the virus.
“It is possible that tomorrow will be another record-breaking day,” she said in the briefing.
Now that the province is back in the orange phase, she asked residents to stick to socializing within their household bubbles, maintaining a six-feet distance and practising hand-washing and mask-wearing.
“We have moved out of red and orange levels over and over again since March,” Shephard said, adding she is confident New Brunswickers can do it again.
More information on restrictions under the orange zone are available here.
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