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COVID-19: N.B. reports 3 more deaths, more groups to be offered booster shots

Click to play video: 'N.B. expands COVID-19 rapid test kits availability' N.B. expands COVID-19 rapid test kits availability
After long line-ups and overwhelming demand for COVID-19 rapid tests over the weekend, Public Health in New Brunswick is making sure the kits are available to anyone who wants them. Tim Roszell explains – Oct 18, 2021

Three more people have died as a result of COVID-19 in New Brunswick, bringing the province’s total number of COVID-19-related deaths to 94.

A person in their 80s in the Campbellton region and two people aged 90 and over, one in the Moncton region and the other in the Edmundston region, have died.

The province also reported 50 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. Of those, 26 are unvaccinated, six are partially vaccinated and 18 are fully vaccinated.

Read more: COVID-19 outbreak inside Moncton hospital, including cancer unit

“I was saddened to learn that three people have died in our province from this virus,” said Premier Blaine Higgs in a news release.

“It is important we continue to follow the rules, to protect ourselves and our loved ones. This is the fifth consecutive day we have seen a decline in the number of new cases and we all must do our part if we want this trend to continue.”

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There are currently 57 people hospitalized with COVID-19, of which 23 are unvaccinated, five are partially vaccinated and 29 are fully vaccinated. Of the 18 people in intensive care, 17 are unvaccinated and one is partially vaccinated.

With 122 recoveries since Monday, the number of active cases has fallen to 774.

Booster shots for health-care workers, First Nations

The release Tuesday said that beginning the week of Oct. 25, health-care personnel — including those working in long-term care — and residents of First Nations communities will be able to receive a booster shot of an mRNA vaccine if six months have passed since their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“It is important we continue to take steps to protect those working and living in situations where they may be vulnerable to the virus,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell. “Our health-care workers are a great example of this, as they have been on the front lines of this pandemic since it began.”

It said appointments for those groups will be available beginning on Oct. 25, while details on booster doses for other groups will be available in the coming weeks.

The province has previously announced booster shots for residents living in long-term care and immunocompromised people.

Read more: COVID-19 rapid tests now rolling out across New Brunswick

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The province also said free rapid COVID-19 tests are now available for those who have not tested positive for COVID-19. On Monday, 11,822 rapid test kits were distributed across the province.

A full list of locations to get a rapid test is available on both Vitalité’s and Horizon’s website.

Most cases under investigation

Of the 50 new cases announced Tuesday, 22 were in Zone 1, the Moncton region. They involve six people 19 and under, three people in their 20s, five people in their 30s, four people in their 40s, two people in their 50s and two people in their 60s. All 22 cases are under investigation.

There were two new cases in Zone 2, the Saint John region, involving a person in their 40s and a person in their 80s. Both are under investigation.

In Zone 3, the Fredericton region, there were two new cases. They involve a person aged 19 and under and a person in their 20s. Both of those cases are also under investigation.

Read more: COVID-19: How 4th wave has hit N.B. and N.S. differently and the lessons to learn from it

Nine new cases were found in Zone 4, the Edmundston region, involving a person 19 and under, a person in their 20s, a person in their 40s, two people in their 50s and four people in their 60s. All of those cases are under investigation.

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In Zone 5, the Campbellton region, 12 new cases were found, which are also all under investigation. They involve a person 19 and under, two people in their 20s, two people in their 30s, two people in their 40s, three people in their 50s, a person in their 60s and a person aged 90 and over.

There was one case found in Zone 6, the Bathurst region, involving a person in their 20s. That case is under investigation as well.

And in Zone 7, the Miramichi region, there were two new cases involving a person 19 and under and a person in their 20s. One case is under investigation and the other is a contact of a previously confirmed case.

New school case

The province said it has recently confirmed a case of COVID-19 at Garderie les Débrouillards in Val d’Amour, which is in Zone 5, the Campbellton region.

“If you or a family member have been in close contact with a case, you will be notified by Public Health or the facility for contact tracing,” the release said. “If you are not notified directly, you have not been identified as a close contact.”

Since Sept. 7, 56 early learning and child-care facilities have had confirmed cases of COVID-19.

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