One case has been identified in New Brunswick’s Campbellton region, after the province went two straight days without a new case.
The latest patient is an individual above the age of 90, and his reason for transmission is linked to the Manoir de la Vallée long-term care facility, according to a press release, which did not specify if the individual was a resident.
There are now 10 cases linked to the facility, which includes one recent victim, and a Quebec employee whose case is reflected in that province’s statistics.
In New Brunswick, there are now four people in hospital, while no one is in intensive care.
The province previously had no active cases after all of its patients had recovered by May 16. But since May 21, they’ve discovered 17 new cases in the Campbellton region, sixteen of which are considered active. They’re all part of a cluster that officials believe was started by a family doctor, who exposed at least 150 people to the virus in the health-care and community setting.
Instead of following a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period following his trip to Quebec in May to pick up his daughter, the doctor returned to work and saw patients during a two-week stretch at Campbellton Regional Hospital in the Restigouche area.
On May 28, a health-care worker at Manor de la Vallée was diagnosed with COVID-19, prompting all staff and residents to get tested. She was in contact with the family doctor on May 20, said Guy Tremblay, the president of Groupe Lokia, which owns the special care home for seniors.
Officials were able to link all of the initial patients after identifying the family doctor, whose case was announced on May 27. Premier Blaine Higgs called him an “irresponsible individual,” who was “not forthcoming” about the reasons for his trip upon returning to New Brunswick. The doctor has since been suspended as RCMP and Vitalité Health Network (a New Brunswick health authority) investigate to potentially lay charges.
In an interview with Radio-Canada’s La Matinale, the doctor said he’s not sure how he contracted the virus, saying he might have caught the virus from a patient on May 19. Throughout this overnight trip to Quebec, he said he made no stops to come into contact with anyone, while none of his family members were showing COVID-19 symptoms. He and his daughter have both since tested positive, after discovering that one of his patients had contracted the virus.
Because of the outbreak, the Campbellton region remains in the “Orange” phase, while other regions are in “Yellow” as part of the province’s reopening plan. The Orange phase prohibits personal services such as barbers and spas from reopening.