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N.B. COVID-19 roundup: Province moves to Level 3 lockdown Friday at 11:59 p.m.

N.B. COVID-19 roundup: Province moves to Level 3 lockdown Friday at 11:59 p.m.
Written by Publishing Team

New Brunswick is moving to Level 3 of its winter plan for COVID-19, the most restrictive level, effective Friday at 11:59 p.m., for 16 days.

Prime Minister Blaine Higgs made the announcement at a COVID briefing Thursday afternoon, citing the hospital’s record 104 COVID-19, which includes nine people in intensive care, three of whom are on ventilators, and 386 health care workers out of isolation after being tested. Positive, rises. cases.

The briefing heard four more people died Wednesday from the virus.

The closure will continue until January 30 at 11:59 pm

“Think of it as short-term pain for long-term gains,” Higgs said.

Below Level 3:

  • Social gatherings are limited to individual family bubbles, which include people who live together. “Where appropriate, this can be expanded to include: a caregiver; a family member who needs support from someone within the family; or another person who needs support (for example, someone who lives alone, or another family member),” Health General said.
  • A single family bubble may extend childcare from another family for the purposes of informal daycare or online education support, provided the same home bubble is maintained for as long as Level 3 is in effect
  • Public gatherings are not allowed
  • Restaurants are limited to delivery service to and from abroad and delivery only
  • Non-essential retail will remain at level 2 restrictions, which include operating at 50 percent of capacity with physical distancing measures in place.
  • Sports clubs, salons, spas and recreation centers are closed
  • Religious services are only permitted outdoors, in real-time, or in the car
  • Organized team games, competition and practice with people outside the home bubble are prohibited.
  • Individual sports, such as skiing, snowboarding, and snowboarding, are allowed, as long as distance from those outside the home bubble is maintained. Buildings that support outdoor sports, such as ski lodges and warm-up shelters, must maintain 50 percent capacity, distance and concealment. Food and drinks cannot be served.

Speaking about the stores’ plan, Dr Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer for Health, told reporters that there was “very limited risk” of transmission through retail, because people are not usually in stores for long, and physical distance is guaranteed. “

The county encourages people to use a contactless pickup and/or designate one person from their household to go shopping “if” at all possible to reduce contacts.

“It was never something I wanted to do, and I really hate taking that next step,” Higgs said at the press conference.

The move will give the county the time it needs, however, to significantly slow the spread of the transmissible Omicron variant, administer booster doses and vaccinate children 5-11 years old.

The interrupt needs to get to the root of the problem, so you don’t have to change levels frequently.

“We won’t last until 2022 with our county shut down,” he said, hinting that mandatory vaccinations may be coming.

“We will do what is necessary to protect all numbers and force people to be vaccinated.

“Life will become increasingly uncomfortable and more difficult for those who choose not to receive the vaccination.”

New Brunswick sets new restrictions to combat Omicron variant

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs announced Thursday that the province is set to move to “Level 3,” the most restrictive level in its winter plan for COVID-19, for 16 days starting at midnight Friday. 2:27

Among the county’s criteria for consideration of moving from the current Level 2 of its COVID-19 winter plan to the more restrictive Level 3 are 100 county-wide active COVID-19 hospital admissions or 50 COVID patients in intensive care.

Higgs said all criteria were met.

Hospitalizations are expected to reach nearly 220 by the end of the month and new cases to peak at 5,500 per day, if current trends continue and no changes are made.

“Our projections show that if we all reduce our contacts by 30 percent, we can reduce the expected peak of hospital admissions from 220 to about 150,” Russell said.

“This will help offset the impact of staffing shortages for those who care for patients in hospitals and critical infrastructure personnel,” she said.

On Tuesday, Russell said the county is monitoring the situation “hour by hour,” but hopes to avoid moving to stricter restrictions due to their negative impact.

At the briefing, she said it wasn’t an easy decision, and it wasn’t taken lightly.

“We are facing a critical situation and we need serious measures to address it,” she said.

“All New Brunswick members should take this very seriously and be diligent in following these new restrictions.”

Higgs said the Department of Social Development is working with long-term care home operators to create new emergency long-term care beds across the county as a short-term solution to help reduce stress on the health care system.

He called on anyone “with experience giving vaccines,” retired nurses with critical care experience, medical professionals from other countries living in New Brunswick, and other groups to ramp up volunteer services.

He also announced the extension of the New Brunswick Small Business Recovery Grant Program through the end of February, allowing eligible businesses to apply for a non-reimbursable grant of up to $10,000, double the previous amount.

“The affected companies will see an immediate rise,” he said.

New Brunswick’s travel logging program has been discontinued “to allow enforcement officers with Public Safety to focus on ensuring that individuals and businesses comply with Level 3 measures,” Higgs said. People coming to the county will no longer need to register their travel.

A total of 304 new cases of COVID-19 were identified on Friday, based on 2,620 PCR tests conducted Thursday, putting the positivity rate at 11.6 percent. Another 746 people reported positive results in the rapid tests. (CBC News)

Public Health reported 304 new confirmed cases of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of COVID-19 Thursday, bringing the number of active cases to 6,613, but this does not include people who tested positive in rapid tests.

An additional 746 people between the ages of two and 49 who showed symptoms tested positive in the rapid tests and reported their results online.

“These aggregate numbers are based on information the Department of Health has received from the public and are not intended to be taken as a true representation of the total number of cases in the county,” Public Health said in a press release.

A total of 646,802 PCR tests have been conducted so far, including 2,620 tests on Wednesday, which puts the positivity rate at 11.6 percent.

As of Thursday, 28.7 percent of eligible New Brunswickers had received a booster dose, up from 27.5 percent, 83.3 percent had received two doses, up from 83.2 percent, and 91 percent had received a single dose, up from 90.9 percent cents.

New Brunswick has recorded 21,553 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, with 14,760 recoveries to date and 178 deaths.

The boosted reservation issue has been resolved

An issue where some people were booking COVID-19 booster appointments through the online boycott system earlier this week has been resolved, according to the Department of Health.

No other details were released, but it appears there was a conflict that occurred with people who also booked an appointment for quick tests. People with symptoms are only supposed to order rapid tests.

It’s unclear if this is why the system prevented them from scheduling a booster appointment or if the system mistook the express test appointment as a vaccination appointment.

On Monday, booster dose eligibility was expanded to all New Brunswickers 18 and older, as long as five months had passed since the second shot.

Mary Nelson, 48, who was so anxious for a booster because she had two grandchildren too young to be vaccinated, came up and checked in by 5:30 a.m.

She filled out the form, but the field where she entered her Medicare number is highlighted and the system won’t let her go any further.

Mary Nelson, 48, was one of an unknown number of people who were unable to book a booster appointment online after recently booking an appointment to pick up rapid COVID-19 tests. (Provided by Mary Nelson)

I called the toll free number, which didn’t open until 8:30 in the morning. And when I called back later, managed to get through and waited on hold for about 20 minutes, the woman I spoke to said, “Oh, looks like I’ve already booked.”

“And I said, ‘No, I didn’t book my third dose, but I booked an appointment last week for quick tests,'” Nelson said.

“So I think that’s where the flaw is. This appointment was supposed to have been for a vaccine, when in fact, it was to pick up the rapid tests.”

Several days ago, when she booked an appointment for a quick check, there were some confirmed cases at her husband’s work, and she had a headache for a few days, she said.

“I was really worried, you know, as this easily spreads, this variant, that [I was] Just err on the side of caution – try to get some quick tests done. “

By Monday, when she tried to book her booster appointment, she said, she had no symptoms.

She said the woman on the helpline did not ask her about any symptoms. She gave her a booster date on January 17th.

“We’ll see what next Monday brings as far as how I feel and whether I have any symptoms or worsening of symptoms,” Nelson said. “It would instruct me to stay away from the vaccine clinic.”

Nelson saw posts on social media that made her realize she wasn’t alone. I decided to speak out to report this issue.

If the system doesn’t allow her book because the county doesn’t want people with symptoms to go to vaccination clinics, she said, “It’s all very understandable and makes perfect sense. [except] For the fact that your current status when trying to book one of these things can change quickly. And of course, it can change many times between when the appointment is made and the actual time of the appointment.”

“The ‘prompt tests and boosters’ issue has been resolved,” a department spokesman, Bruce MacFarlane, said in an email.

When asked what caused the problem, how widespread it was, and when and how it was resolved, he replied, “I don’t know how widespread it is.”

A nurse with COVID strives to eliminate the stigma of the disease

A registered nurse, who recently tested positive for COVID-19, is encouraging people to be open about their diagnosis.

Isabel Wallace, who works in her community in Madawaska First Nation, says she wants to help reduce the stigma surrounding the disease.

“My message is that we need to talk about it openly and be honest,” she said.

Isabelle Wallace, a community health nurse at Madawaska First Nation, says anyone can get COVID-19, even a healthcare professional like her, who follows all precautions. (CBC)

When Wallace got a positive PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) lab test result on her smartphone over the holidays, she said she took a screenshot and shared it on social media.

“I felt like this was an opportunity for me as a community health nurse to raise awareness.”

Wallace said Madawaska First Nation saw its first active cases in December.

“So I wanted members to be more careful because we’ve seen an increase in active cases.”

She added that she also wanted to make it clear that anyone can contract the virus – even a health professional who takes all possible precautions.

“This virus does not discriminate.”

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