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No new COVID-19 cases in Saint John, Moncton hospital outbreaks

Click to play video: 'Saint John hospital has no new COVID-19 cases reported' Saint John hospital has no new COVID-19 cases reported
WATCH: A top official at Saint John Regional Hospital say there haven’t been any additional cases of COVID-19 identified there since an outbreak was declared last week. Tim Roszell reports. – Nov 29, 2021

Horizon Health Network announced there have been no new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in hospital-based outbreaks in Saint John and Moncton since last week.

Horizon announced the outbreak in the orthopedic surgery (3CS) and internal medicine (4CN) units at Saint John Regional Hospital on Nov. 26.

Brenda Kinney, the hospital’s executive director, said the two patients have been moved to the facility’s COVID-19 unit.

She said follow-up testing has not found any additional cases at the hospital as of Monday.

Read more: Woman frustrated over surgery cancellation due to COVID-19 outbreaks at Moncton hospital

Kinney said some services have been impacted.

“We’ve definitely had a bit of an impact in terms of getting in-patients in because we can’t admit to either of those units,” Kinney said. “And with our high capacity as it is to start with, that has definitely been a pressure point for us.”

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Kinney said the internal medicine unit was expected to have its Day 5 testing Monday while the orthopedic surgery unit is scheduled to have its Day 10 testing on Tuesday.

Facilities need to have surpassed two full incubation periods — 28 days — for an outbreak to be declared over.

In the meantime, Horizon also said there have been no new cases in the outbreaks at the Moncton Hospital since Friday. It said 26 patients and six staff members have tested positive so far.

The affected units are: Stroke and Family Medicine Unit (Unit 4600) (including patients from Unit 4400 – Rehabilitation, who have been transferred to this unit); Family Practice and Geriatric Unit (Unit 5100); and Family Medicine and Palliative Care Unit (Unit 3600).

“Both situations are being managed with respect to sequential testing,” said New Brunswick Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Jennifer Russell, of the two hospital outbreaks.

“So any of the floors or units that have patients and staff that need to be testing, that’s happening. Any isolation measures that need to be put in place, that’s happening.”

Horizon announced an additional hospital outbreak at Miramichi Regional Hospital, where one patient tested positive Saturday.

It said the intensive care unit (ICU) and the family practice unit (2 West) are impacted by the outbreak.

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Russell defended the province’s handling of a recent rise in overall case numbers.

While public health had previously implemented circuit breaker restrictions for certain health zones experiencing elevated cases, Russell said a more targeted approach to the recent spike has been appropriate.

“However, we are working on a winter plan,” Russell said. “We are working on holiday messaging. We know that these are critical times in terms of keeping our numbers as low as we can. We know that will always be a challenge.”

Russell could not elaborate on the winter plan, adding that information will be released when recommendations are approved by the cabinet committee.

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