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COVID-19: New Brunswick to begin vaccinating children aged 5-11 before end of week

Click to play video: 'What parents need to know about the COVID vaccine for kids'
What parents need to know about the COVID vaccine for kids
WATCH: Infectious diseases expert Dr. Issac Bogoch breaks down the latest COVID-19 headlines, including vaccinating kids, increase of daily case counts and PCR testing – Nov 22, 2021

New Brunswick is preparing to receive its first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine for children aged five to 11 on Tuesday, and anticipates administering the first doses before the end of the week.

About 54,500 children will be eligible to receive the vaccine.

Read more: N.B. reporting 90 new cases, vaccinations available to kids 5-11 once doses received

The vaccinations will take place through regional health authority community clinics and pharmacies.

So far, 87.5 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers are fully vaccinated, and 93.4 per cent have received their first dose.

Meanwhile, the province is reporting 62 new cases and 55 recoveries. As well, 55 people have recovered, bringing the province’s active case count of COVID-19 to 647.

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There are 33 people hospitalized, including 15 in an ICU.

Outbreaks at The Moncton Hospital, Saint John rooming house, Dorchester Penitentiary

Horizon Health said Monday an outbreak has been declared on the stroke and family medicine unit — Unit 4600 — at The Moncton Hospital.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, there will be no patient admissions or transfers to and from the unit.

Read more: Proof of COVID-19 vaccination needed for N.B. hospital visitation, with some exceptions

As well, the Designated Support Person (DSP) program is temporarily suspended. Horizon Health already has existing visitor restrictions.

“COVID-19 testing for patients and staff is underway and Horizon is following enhanced Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) guidelines,” a statement from Horizon Health read.

“These temporary measures are in place to ensure the health and safety of our patients and clients, staff, physicians, and the community.”

Public Health has also declared an outbreak at Lantern House, a rooming house in Saint John.

The province said there are four positive cases, and members of the provincial Rapid Outbreak Management Team were deployed. More testing is scheduled for this week.

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Meanwhile, the outbreak at the Dorchester Penitentiary continues to grow. According to Correctional Services Canada (CSC), there are now 50 inmates and five staff members in the medium-security unit that have tested positive for COVID-19.

CSC noted that one case is not linked to the outbreak.

“The outbreak is currently contained to that unit. The staff are self-isolating at home,” wrote Shelley Lawrence, a spokesperson with CSC.

Lawrence added that CSC is monitoring the situation, testing broadly and “diligently applying infection prevention and control measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the system.”

Measures include use of masks, physical distancing, establishing cohorts and modifying routines.

Rapid testing at child care facilities

The rapid testing program for schools will expand to include child-care facilities.

As of Monday, children two years and older, as well as staff who are identified as a close contact of a confirmed case, will be given either a five, 10 or 15 day supply of rapid tests.

Children will need to self-isolate for at least 24 hours while they take their first two rapid tests.

Unless otherwise advised by Public Health, children will be able to return to child care once they have recorded two negative tests and if they have no symptoms.

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“They will be required to continue to test daily until the end of the period as prescribed by Public Health through instructions they receive with their kits,” the province wrote in a news release.

“Children and staff, regardless of vaccination status, must stay home and get a PCR test through Public Health if they have received notification that they are a close contact and have even one symptom or receive a positive result on a rapid test.”

As well, children and staff who are household contacts of confirmed cases “are not eligible to participate in the program and must follow isolation requirements set out by Public Health.”

Of note, any household in New Brunswick with a positive case of COVID-19 must isolate for 14 days, regardless of vaccination status, after recently-changed rules.

“Household members who are fully vaccinated will be able to leave isolation with a day-five negative PCR test. A day-10 PCR test must still be taken to confirm the negative result,” the release read.

“Those who violate the Public Health order to self-isolate face a fine of between $480 and $20,400.”

Click to play video: 'N.B. changes self-isolation rules to curb household transmission'
N.B. changes self-isolation rules to curb household transmission

Breakdown of cases

The 20 new cases in Zone 1 (Moncton region) are as follows:

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  • six people 19 and under
  • a person 20-29
  • three people 30-39
  • seven people 40-49
  • a person 50-59
  • two people 60-69

Thirteen cases are under investigation and seven are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

The eight new cases in Zone 2 (Saint John region) are as follows:

  • two people 19 and under
  • two people 20-29
  • a person 30-39
  • two people 40-49
  • a person 50-59

One case is under investigation and seven cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

The 24 new cases in Zone 3 (Fredericton region) are as follows:

  • eight people 19 and under
  • four people 20-29
  • five people 30-39
  • three people 40-49
  • four people 50-59

Seventeen cases are under investigation and seven are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

The three new cases in Zone 6 (Bathurst region) are as follows:

  • two people 20-29
  • a person 40-49

All three cases are under investigation.

The seven new cases in Zone 7 (Miramichi region) are as follows:

  • a person 19 and under
  • two people 40-49
  • three people 50-59
  • a person 60-69

Five cases are under investigation and two are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

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