N.B. reports 3 COVID-19 deaths, pleading for ‘volunteers’ to help with response efforts

Click to play video: 'Experts say New Brunswick lockdown is tough, but necessary'
Experts say New Brunswick lockdown is tough, but necessary
As New Brunswick enters a 16-day lockdown, the tighter measures – which are the strictest seen in a long time – can be a tough pill for some to swallow. But, as Travis Fortnum reports, it’s a necessary medicine in the eyes of experts. – Jan 14, 2022

New Brunswick reported three more COVID-19 deaths and 113 active hospitalizations on Tuesday.

The deaths involve two individuals over the age of 90 and one individual in their 50s in the Bathurst region.

Of those hospitalized, 15 are in intensive care including four on a ventilator.

Sixty-seven per cent of patients in ICU are either unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or it has been more than six months since their second dose, the province said.

There are currently 347 health-care workers who have tested positive and are isolating across the province.

Read more: COVID-19: New Brunswick nurse details life and death on front lines

On Tuesday, the provincial government issued an urgent call for “volunteers for paid and unpaid assistance in its pandemic response efforts.”

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“As predicted, the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is causing increased hospitalizations and staff absences, which is putting pressure on all aspects of our health-care system,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard in a news release.

“We are asking anyone who can assist with clinical and non-clinical work to come forward.”

The clinical work includes:

  • administering vaccinations
  • COVID-19 testing
  • patient services and personal support work

Non-clinical work includes:

  • clerical support
  • office administration
  • logistical support and data entry
  • customer service
  • food preparation and delivery

“We need your help,” said Shephard. “Whether you are retired, non-practicing or unlicensed – if you have experience that can help, please reach out to us.”

Read more: N.B. moves to COVID-19 circuit-breaker: Here’s how to survive staying at home

Since Jan. 10, when booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine became available to anyone 18 and older, more than 37,600 appointments have been booked.

The province says more than 25,700 appointments are available until Jan. 31, and pharmacies have nearly 44,000 doses to administer.

To date, it has administered more than 1.5 million doses, and 83.4 per cent of New Brunswickers have received two doses of the vaccine. To date, 32.7 per cent have received booster doses.

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