COVID-19 round-up for Monday, April 27 – the keep calm and carry on, just not in a group edition

New Brunswick – For the ninth straight day, Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer for New Brunswick announced no new cases of COVID-19 in the province today.

Russell said after the lifting of some restrictions on Friday, she heard stories of gatherings over the weekend, and reminded New Brunswickers gatherings are not permitted under the emergency measures act currently in place.

“So, let me be clear,” said Russell. “We are nowhere near ready to declare victory over the COVID-19 virus. COVID-19 is still with us. It will be with us for a very long time,” she added.

Russell said testing will be expanded as of Tuesday, April 28, and encouraged anyone suffering from any two of the following symptoms to call 811:

  • fever above 38°C;
  • a new cough or worsening chronic cough;
  • sore throat;
  • runny nose; and
  • headache.

Premier Blaine Higgs echoed Russell’s statement, reminding residents while some restrictions had been lifted, there are still rules to be followed in the province.

“I wish to be very clear,” said Higgs. “We want to ease back into this new norm for New Brunswick. We cannot just let the rules all fall by the wayside and have a resurgence.”

Higgs reminded New Brunswickers while parks and beaches have been opened and can be enjoyed provided residents engage in social distancing and stay a minimum of 2 metres apart, playgrounds in the province remain closed due to the high risk of transmission.

Higgs also reminded residents ATV trails remain closed as the very nature of going out on ATV’s encourages social gathering. He added any and all team sports are also not permitted because of the high risk of transmission.

When asked about the New Brunswick borders and any possible lifting of restrictions, Higgs said if anything, New Brunswick’s borders will tighten to protect the province. He also said for residents to prepare for the possibility of non-medical masks becoming a requirement in the next two to four weeks.

Up-to-date information about COVID-19 is available online.

Like a shaggy groundhog appearing to check for his shadow, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today once again emerged from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa to update the nation on strategies and funding surrounding COVID-19.

First on the docket was the announcement as of today, Monday, April 27, applications are open through the Canada Revenue Agency to submit a claim for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). For those who qualify, this subsidy will cover 75 per cent of an employees wage up to $847 per week per employee.

Trudeau however warned against “double dipping” the system. Canadians can receive the CEWS or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) but not both. If you do receive funds under both packages, you will be required to pay the money from one program back to the government.

Since the application portal opened at 6 a.m. EDT on Monday, more than 10,000 businesses had applied for the CEWS.

“That gives you a sense of just how many people this program will help,” said Trudeau.

Parliament will resume Tuesday, April 28 with its first virtual sitting, and will follow with an in-person sitting on Wednesday.

Trudeau ended by saying there will be more information in the coming weeks, but the federal government is working with the provinces on a plan to re-open the economy across the country.

“Different provinces and territories will be able to move at a different pace,” said Trudeau. “But we need clear, coordinated efforts from coast to coast to coast. And no matter where you live, you need to continue following the recommendations from public health officials that will keep everyone safe.”

At 11:01 a.m. EDT, there were 47,327 cases of COVID-19 in Canada. Quebec still leads the way (and is one of the main reasons the NB border will remain closed) with 24,107, and Ontario has 14,856. New Brunswick is holding steady at 118, with most of those recovered, and no patients in ICU.

For application portals, benefit plan information and all other updated on COVID-19 in Canada, go to www. canada.ca

editor@stcroixcourier.ca