COVID-19: N.B. announces 13 new cases as outbreak declared at apartment complex

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New Brunswick announced 13 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday as the province declared an outbreak at an Oromocto-area apartment complex.

In a release, the province said 11 cases have been linked to the outbreak at the Vida Living apartment building so far.

“All the residents at this complex have received direction and advice from Public Health,” said Dr. Cristin Muecke, deputy chief medical officer of health, in the release.

“That direction varies for each individual depending upon their respective level of risk and their contact with cases.”

It’s unclear how many of Wednesday’s cases are related to this outbreak, but six of the new cases are in Zone 3, the Fredericton region, where Oromocto is located.

Those cases involve two people aged 19 and under, three people in their 20s, and one person in their 60s. Four cases are under investigation and two have been linked to previous cases.

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A positive case of COVID-19 was also confirmed at Leo Hayes High School in Fredericton on June 8 and the school community has been notified, the release said. The school remains open and close contacts will be notified by Public Health.

There were also two new cases in Zone 1, the Moncton region, involving a person in their 40s and a person in their 50s. Both are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

There is one new case in Zone 4, the Edmunston region, involving a person aged 19 or younger. That case is under investigation.

There are three new cases in Zone 6, the Bathurst region, involving one person aged 19 or younger and two people in their 60s. Two cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases and the other is under investigation.

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Finally, there is one new case in Zone 7, the Miramichi region, involving a person in their 50s. That person is a close contact of a previously confirmed case.

‘Drive to 75’ continues

The province also reported that 72.2 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers have received their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The province has set a target of 75 per cent before beginning its Path to Green reopening plan, which means 19,511 more people still have to roll up their sleeves. Vaccines are open to all New Brunswickers aged 12 and up.

Phase 1 of the plan would open up travel — with no isolation or testing required — for people from P.E.I., Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as Avignon and Témiscouata in Quebec. Informal indoor gatherings could have up to 20 people and faith gatherings could take place with a maximum 50 per cent venue capacity.

The province said school districts will begin communicating with families to inform them of opportunities for middle and high school students to take part in vaccination clinics at their school, or of the potential to be bussed to walk-in clinics.

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On Wednesday, the province said bussing was available to the Vitalité walk-in clinic in Bathurst for students at the Bathurst High School, École secondaire Nepisiguit, and École Place des jeunes for students aged 12 and up.

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On Thursday, Simonds High School in Saint John will host a clinic for students at Simonds High School, Saint John High School, St. Malachy’s Memorial High School and Harbourview High School.

And in Edmundston, students from Carrefour de la Jeunesse, as well as those 12 and up attending École Notre-Dame and École Saint-Jacques, will be bussed to the local Vitalité clinic on Thursday.

“Part of planning for a healthy and safe return to normal in September means having as many students and staff as possible fully vaccinated,” said Education Minister Dominic Cardy in the release.

“We have been working with the districts and Public Health to make it easier for students between the ages of 12 and 18 to get to clinics, roll up their sleeves, and get vaccinated. We are encouraging families to get their consent forms signed and ready to go.”

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