New Brunswick has reported its 17th COVID-19 related death, involving a resident of an Edmundston long-term care facility.
One death was reported on Friday, involving a resident of Manoir Belle Vue, a long-term care facility in Edmundston, N.B., in their 80s who died Thursday.
“On behalf of all New Brunswickers, I want to offer my sincere sympathy to the loved ones of the deceased,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “Know that we all grieve this heartbreaking loss with you.”
There have been a total of 17 deaths related to COVID-19 in the province, with two deaths reported on Wednesday.
New Brunswick public health is also reporting 16 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, while 16 previously reported cases are now considered resolved as the active number of cases remains at 313.
Friday’s new cases involve:
Four new cases are reported in the Moncton region (Zone 1).
Two new cases are reported in the Fredericton region (Zone 3)
Nine new cases are reported in the Edmundston region (Zone 4)
One new cases reported in the Bathurst region (Zone 6) involving
All cases are self-isolating and under investigation.
CHANGES TO ORANGE PHASE
During Friday’s news update, Russell confirmed that six of the province’s zones will remain at the orange level ‘for several more weeks’, but changes will be made.
“No region in this province can move past the orange level until we have a clear understanding of the impact of these variants,” said Russell.
Health Minister Dorothy Shephard said cabinet was taking public health’s advice and not moving any zones to yellow.
“Right now, the risk is simply too high,” Shephard said. “Even in Zones 5, 6 and 7 where case counts are low.”
Residents in the orange phase will be allowed to interact with their household bubble plus 10 other people, as long as they are a ‘steady group of 10,’ meaning consistent, close contacts outside of their household bubble.
“Please continue to keep your number of contacts low,” Shephard said. “I know changes to the rules can be frustrating and difficult to keep up with. I am asking everyone to continue to be adaptable, as we strive to stay one step ahead of COVID-19.”
Russell said Public Health recommended that Zone 5 (Campbellton region), Zone 6 (Bathurst region) and Zone 7 (Miramichi region) remain at the Orange level to help prevent new COVID-19 variants, such as the ones identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa, from entering New Brunswick.
“Early data suggests that these new variants may be more contagious, so it is important that we take the necessary precautions now to reduce the transmission of the virus and any of its variants in our communities,” said Russell.
Friday’s new cases increase the number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick to 1,218 since the pandemic began. Over half of the total cases in the province have been identified in the month of January, with 619 total cases reported so far this month.
Public Health said in a news release that four patients are hospitalized with two in intensive care.
The number of cases are broken down by New Brunswick’s seven health zones:
Zone 1 – Moncton region: 299 confirmed cases (74 active cases)
Zone 2 – Saint John region: 217 confirmed cases (33 active cases)
Zone 3 – Fredericton region: 231 confirmed cases (33 active cases)
Zone 4 – Edmundston region: 257 confirmed cases (157 active cases)
Zone 5 – Campbellton region: 182 confirmed cases (7 active cases)
Zone 6 – Bathurst region: 24 confirmed cases (7 active cases)
Zone 7 – Miramichi region: 8 confirmed cases (2 active cases)