NB COVID-19 update: 2 deaths, hospitalizations and intensive care cases continue to increase
Two more New Brunswickers with COVID-19 have died, hospitalizations and intensive care cases have continued to rise over the past three days, as well as seven-day averages, the dashboard shows.
The latest deaths were both people from the Saint John area, Zone 2 – one in her 60s and the other in her 80s.
There are 100 people in hospital, an increase of eight from Friday, including 46 who were admitted for COVID-19 and 54 who were initially admitted for something else when they tested positive for the virus.
Nine people require intensive care, up to one, and four of them are on ventilators.
The seven-day average of COVID-related hospitalizations rose to 109 on Monday from 89 on Friday, according to the dashboard.
The seven-day average of people requiring intensive care, which had been stable for four days, also rose from four to six.
New Brunswick is set to lift all COVID restrictions, including mask mandates and gathering limits, next Monday when the emergency order ends.
When the province announced the pending changes on February 24, 77 people were hospitalized, including five in intensive care.
Dr Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, said at the time that modeling shows “we’re likely to see increases” in cases and hospitalizations “here and there” as restrictions are lifted, but they won’t. “overwhelming”. “
Russell would not say whether specific hospitalizations or case rates would trigger a return of restrictions.
“Given the information we have today, we can only speak about what is happening right now,” she said.
Three people aged 19 or younger are among those hospitalized. There are also five people in their 20s, six in their 30s, seven in their 40s, six in their 50s, 19 in their 60s, 22 in their 60s, 17 in their 80s and 6 in their 90s.
Of those in intensive care, one is in their 40s, five in their 60s and three in their 60s.
Across the province, 580 healthcare workers are now furloughed, self-isolating after testing positive for COVID-19, 39 more than Friday. These include 301 with Horizon Health Network, 191 with Vitalité Health Network and 88 with Extra-Mural and Ambulance New Brunswick.
The hospital occupancy rate rose from 92% to 90%, while the intensive care occupancy rate remained unchanged at 69%.
Public health confirmed 1,133 new cases of COVID-19 between Saturday and Monday through PCR lab tests, bringing the number of active cases to 4,061, an increase of 169.
An additional 1,277 people said they tested positive on rapid tests.
Among the cases confirmed by PCR, 61 are aged nine and under and 65 are aged 10 to 19.
The regional distribution of PCR-confirmed cases includes:
Moncton Area, Zone 1
Saint John Area, Zone 2
Fredericton Area, Zone 3
Edmundston region, zone 4
Campbellton area, zone 5
Bathurst area, Zone 6
Miramichi Region, Zone 7
- 60 new cases and 175 active cases
On Monday, 50.5% of eligible New Brunswickers received their booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, compared to 50.3% on Friday, 87.2% received two doses of vaccine, unchanged, and 92.9 % received one dose, also unchanged.
A total of 742,089 PCR tests have been carried out so far, including 3,647 between Saturday and Monday.
New Brunswick has recorded 40,070 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, with 35,696 recoveries so far and 311 COVID-related deaths.
Atlantic COVID Roundup
Prince Edward Island has passed New Brunswick for the total number of active cases of COVID-19. Prince Edward Island reported a total of 4,241 active cases on Monday, with 1,327 new cases since the last update on Friday. Two people are hospitalized with COVID-19, and seven others were admitted for other reasons and later tested positive.
Newfoundland and Labrador reported two more COVID-related deaths over the weekend and hospitalizations jumped Monday to their highest level in nearly a month. There are now 25 people in hospital with the virus, including five in intensive care. A total of 1,244 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed since Friday, bringing the province’s number of active cases to 3,216.
Nova Scotia, in its latest report on Friday, announced four COVID-19-related deaths and 45 people in designated COVID-19 hospital units, including 13 in intensive care. There were 294 new laboratory-confirmed cases, for an active case count of 2,650.
Cruise ship passengers, crew must be fully vaccinated
All cruise ship passengers and crew will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 when ships begin docking in Port Saint John this spring.
This is part of new COVID-19 measures announced by the federal government on Monday for the return of cruise ships to Canadian waters next month for the 2022 season.
Passengers will be required to take a COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours of boarding or take an antigen test within a day of boarding, Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said.
The same rule applies to passengers disembarking from a cruise ship in Canada.
Cruise ship operators will be required to inspect proof of vaccination and pre-board test results, test suspected cases, isolate positive cases, test close contacts of positive cases, Alghabra said. .
They will also be required to report symptomatic or positive passengers or crew to Transport Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the port and the local public health unit.
Symptomatic or positive passengers can expect to be isolated on board the ship and will not be able to participate in communal activities.
At the end of their cruise, it will be the cruise line’s responsibility to arrange for safe isolation accommodation for COVID-19.
The Canada Border Services Agency will ensure the “robust” rules are followed, Alghabra said.
The framework was developed with federal, state and local public health agencies, the U.S. government and the cruise industry, he said.
We are also adjusting our travel advice for Canadians going on cruises and continuing to advise travelers to exercise caution.– Omar Alghabra, Federal Minister of Transport
No cruise ship has stopped in Saint John since 2020, when the pandemic restricted travel.
The first ship of the season is scheduled for May 4, when the Pearl Mist enters port.
A total of 69 cruise ships are expected.
The cruise ship industry contributes more than $4 billion a year to the country’s economy, Alghabra noted. It supports approximately 30,000 jobs.
“We are also adjusting our travel advice for Canadians going on cruises and continuing to advise travelers to exercise caution,” he said.
COVID-19 can spread easily between close people, and the risk of getting infected with COVID-19 on cruise ships is “very high, even if you have completed a series of COVID-19 vaccines” , says the federal government’s website.
Anyone who is not fully vaccinated against COVID and those at higher risk of developing severe illness or outcomes from COVID “should avoid cruise ship travel.”
If people are on a cruise outside of Canada and an outbreak occurs, they could be subject to quarantine procedures on board the ship or in a foreign country, and “the range of consular services available on ships cruising may be significantly restricted by local authorities, particularly in a quarantine situation,” the government warns.
Any medical care can be “very expensive” and people may have to pay cash immediately.
“The Government of Canada will not pay your medical bills, including expenses related to COVID-19 or medical evacuation.”
Those who test positive abroad must wait at least 10 days after taking their test before entering Canada. “You shouldn’t depend on the Government of Canada to help you change your travel plans.”
Infected Canadians will not be turned away at a land border, but face fines of up to $5,000 for breaking the rules.
Businesses face tough decisions
New Brunswick businesses can choose to keep COVID-19 mandates in place after the province lifts all restrictions next week, but some restaurateurs say making that decision isn’t so simple.
Mike Babineau, president of Downtown Fredericton Inc. and owner of several restaurants in the city, says it’s impossible to appease everyone and it’s a very busy environment, with some people seeing the two-way calls as a personal affront.
Babineau says they do their best to make everyone feel comfortable.
“We’re in the customer service business. So if anyone comes in and wants a little more space, or wants our server to put on a mask or, you know, any of the above, we’ll do what we can to please those customers,” he said.
“We’re a safe place. We want our customers to come back to us. And so far, from the numbers, they’re coming out. So I think we’re in a good position.”
The province is set to lift all COVID restrictions, including mask mandates and gathering limits, on March 14 when the emergency order ends.
Babineau says he decided to follow the example of public health, just as he has throughout the pandemic.
This means that his restaurants will no longer check the vaccination status of customers and will move forward with mask lifting requirements on March 14.
CBSA resumes normal service at 2 NB airports.
The Canada Border Services Agency has resumed normal hours of service at two New Brunswick airports, beginning Monday.
CBSA services at Fredericton International Airport and Saint John Airport are once again available between 8 a.m. and midnight, Monday through Sunday.
Services at these airports have been reduced since July 2020 due to a measure related to COVID-19.
The CBSA only operated from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, at the Fredericton airport, and from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., seven days a week, at the Saint John airport.
Normal service has also resumed at the Charlottetown airport on Prince Edward Island — 8 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Sunday.