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COVID-19: Slight increase in hospitalizations, but drop in positive tests in New Brunswick

Click to play video: 'New Brunswick COVID-19 cases on the decline' New Brunswick COVID-19 cases on the decline
WATCH: There was a slight increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations in New Brunswick over the past week, but overall, the situation continues to improve. The province’s chief medical officer of health says she expects positive cases to continue to trend down in the coming months. Robert Lothian reports. – Jun 7, 2022

In its weekly COVID-19 update, New Brunswick reported two deaths, a slight increase in active hospitalizations, but a decrease in positive test results.

In the period between May 29 and June 4, the province recorded 533 positive PCR tests and 360 self-reported rapid test positives.

There are currently 28 people in hospital because of COVID-19, and three patients in ICU. According to the latest figures, one patient in hospital is under the age of 10.

Read more: N.B. reports 3 COVID-19 deaths in weekly update, hospitalizations down

The highest proportion of hospitalizations, however, is among people aged 60 to 79.

Last week, the province reported 554 PCR-confirmed cases, 451 self-reported rapid test positives, three deaths and 25 hospitalizations.

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Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province’s chief medical officer of health, said the trend seems to indicate that the COVID-19 situation in New Brunswick will improve in the summer months.

“I think coming into the summer months basically, the risks will be lower because more people will be spending more time outdoors, more physical distancing, etc.,” she said.

“I think that is what we can look forward to optimistically, hopefully. But, you know, there are no guarantees with COVID, as you know.”

Currently, 93.2 per cent of New Brunswsickers have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 88.1 per cent have had two doses, and 52.6 per cent have had a booster dose.

A second booster is available for the province’s at-risk population, but Russell said there is no information at this point to suggest a fourth dose is coming for the rest of the province.

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New Brunswick has detected the presence of the BA.5 subvariant of Omicron, but Russell said it isn’t a concern currently.

Instead, she said she believes the province is moving into summer with an opportunity to rebound.

“Hopefully, people have a chance to bounce back from everything that we’ve done in the last two years or so,” she said.

— with a file from Robert Lothian 

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