COVID-19 round-up for Saturday, March 28 – Six new cases under investigation, feds announce further travel restrictions

New Brunswick – Although the province did not hold a press briefing Saturday (nor will there be one Sunday) a press release was issued stating six new cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the province. Two previously identified cases have now recovered.

This brings the total number of cases to 51.

The cases are under investigation, and are listed below. Further details will be forthcoming.

  • An individual aged 50-59 in Zone 1 (southeast).
  • An individual aged 70-79 in Zone 1 (southeast).
  • An individual aged 20-29 in Zone 2 (south).
  • An individual aged 20-29 in Zone 2 (south).
  • An individual aged 50-59 in Zone 2 (south).
  • An individual aged 70-79 in Zone 2 (south).

In the release, Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, reiterated the need for social distancing, self-isolation, and regular hand washing. “These practices will save lives,” she stated.

At the Friday, March 27 briefing, Russell announced revised testing protocols to protect healthcare workers and slow the transmission of the virus.

“Workers who have direct contact with patients and who have developed COVID-19 symptoms since March 20, are directed to immediately self-isolate. This includes employees of regional health authorities, long-term care facilities, the Extra-Mural program, First Nation communities; Ambulance New Brunswick, community physicians and pharmacists.

Health-care workers who are self-employed or employed by other organizations and who have developed COVID-19 symptoms since March 20, are also directed to immediately self-isolate.

Unless directed otherwise by their employer, workers in the health-care sector may call 1-833-475-0724 if they have developed the following symptoms:

  • fever with a temperature of 38°C or higher;
  • a new or worsening cough;
  • shortness of breath.

Employees who are not in the health-care field should follow their normal processes for reporting absences to their managers due to illness. They should not call the toll-free number designated for health-care workers. The toll-free line is also not for employees who have questions regarding pay, entitlements, or other concerns,” states the release.

It was also announced while agriculture, aquaculture, fishing and processing operations have been deemed essential services and permitted to continue operation, these workplaces must take measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The federal and provincial governments both announced several new supports for small business this week, and the feds also announced an increase of Farm Credit Canada’s lending capability by $5 billion to ensure have access to needed capital. Businesses facing financial pressure may call 1-888-332-3301 to discuss their situation and options.

For more information on the agriculture/agri-food sector, go to www.agr.gc.ca/eng/coronavirus-disease-covid-19-information-for-industry

For information on how to maintain a safe work environment during the pandemic, go to www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/gateways/for_business/covid19/faq

For general inquiries about the virus in New Brunswick, and for the self-assessment tool, go to www.gnb.ca/coronavirus

In his daily press briefing from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced new tightened travel restrictions from Transport Canada.

“As of Monday (March 30) at noon, people showing any sign whatsoever of COVID-19 will be denied boarding on all domestic flights and inter-city passenger trains,” said Trudeau.

Trudeau also highlighted the success being seen in British Columbia thanks to social distancing and self-isolation in the province.

“We see promising news out of BC that over the past couple of weeks the measures taken in place by so many Canadians, the choices Canadians have made, have had an impact on the overall numbers,” he said.

“But we need to keep it up.”

BC’s Minister of Health, Dr. Bonnie Henry attributes social distancing and maintaining all other recommended protocols to the approximate halving of the province’s cases.

“I’m trying not to over-call it, but I do believe we’ve seen a flattening, a falling-off of that curve,” said Henry on Friday.

As of 3 p.m. EDT on Saturday, March 28: BC currently has 792 confirmed cases of the virus – the third highest in the country, but well below Quebec more than 50 per cent of the country’s cases at 2498. Overall, Canada has 5303 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

For more information nationally, go to Canada.ca

editor@stcroixcourier.ca