New Brunswick is reporting 10 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, seven of which are located in the Moncton region.
The remaining three cases are in Zone 4 (Edmundston region), which is currently in the red level and in the midst of an outbreak involving a variant of concern. Those three cases involve two people aged 19 and under, and a person in his or her 50s. All three are contacts of a previously known case.
In an interview with The Canadian Press, Dr. Jennifer Russell said all the new cases reported in the hard-hit Edmundston area, in the northwest of the province, involve the mutation of the novel coronavirus first identified in the U.K.
“This is the worst that things have been in the pandemic since it began and it is all the result of the U.K. variant,” Russell
Over the weekend, the president of the Vitalite Health Network, which includes the Edmundston hospital, said COVID-19-related hospitalizations are threatening to overwhelm the health system. Dr. France Desrosiers said some patients at the Edmundston hospital may have to be transferred.
“The Edmundston Regional Hospital will soon reach its maximum capacity in terms of patients requiring acute care,” Desrosiers said in a statement. “We will have depleted all available resources to provide safe health care during an emergency situation. The transfer of patients to other facilities is imminent.”
Russell said so far, one non-COVID-19 patient has been transferred to another hospital, adding that local authorities met Sunday with Ambulance New Brunswick and the Health Department to discuss a plan in the event more patients need to be moved.
The Zone 1 (Moncton region) cases are all under investigation and involve:
- two people 20-29
- an individual 30-39
- an individual 50-59
- two people 60-69
- an individual 90 and over
“My preliminary information from my staff is they are all connected,” Russell said about the Moncton cases.
There are now 168 active cases in the province. Fourteen people are in hospital, including eight in an intensive care unit.
Meanwhile, vaccination clinics are continuing in the province at pharmacies and by the regional health authorities for people over 75.
As well, vaccination clinics with the AstraZeneca vaccine are being held in Edmundston on April 6 and 7 for people over the age of 55. Booking can be made online or by phone at 1-833-437-1424.
“I encourage all New Brunswickers to book a vaccine appointment when it’s their turn,” Russell said in a news release.
“For those still waiting to be eligible, please be patient; your turn is coming.
“We remain committed to providing the first shot to all New Brunswickers who want the vaccine by the end of June.”
Russell goes on to say that it is critical for people to follow public health guidelines “until we receive enough vaccines to allow the majority of New Brunswickers to be vaccinated.”
“This applies to all age groups as we are beginning to see similar trends in New Brunswick as in other provinces regarding the variants,” she said.
“Younger individuals are being hospitalized. We must all support one another by following the rules.”
— with files from The Canadian PressView link »