COVID-19 round-up for Thursday, April 9 – the New Brunswick’s next top model edition

New Brunswick – In a half-sobering, half-relieving presentation, NB Health Minister Ted Flemming today announced predictive models show had New Brunswick not acted as quickly as it did, the province could have seen 5,600 deaths from COVID-19.

Instead, if New Brunswickers continue to self-isolate, and maintain a bare minimum of 6 feet between themselves and others, then models predict deaths in the province will be closer to the 550 to 1,750 range.

Flemming reminded residents for potential deaths to remain in the low-end range, New Brunswickers must continue to follow all advice from the chief medical officer and department of health by staying at home, and maintaining social distancing.

“Limiting the number of deaths requires that everyone follow the direction of the chief medical officer of health by staying home and maintaining physical distance from others when you have to go out,” he said.

Facts about the modelling:

  • The scenarios are based on the experience of northern Italy, as a case where a large impact has been experienced, and on all of Italy, as a medium-impact scenario.
  • The scenarios show potential outcomes up to April 30, beyond which projections become less reliable.
  • In the large-impact scenario, New Brunswick could experience up to 132 deaths by the end of April; under the medium-impact scenario, the figure is estimated at 70 deaths. On its current trajectory, with all public health measures now in place and adhered to by the public, New Brunswick could have 15 COVID-19 deaths by April 30.
  • The projected number of patients hospitalized on April 30, based on the current trajectory, is 28. That number could be as high as 125 under a large-impact scenario.
  • The number of patients requiring admission to an intensive care unit, currently projected to rise to 13 by the end of the month, could peak at 84 on April 30 under the large-impact scenario.

The provincial health system is preparing for any of these scenarios by securing personal protective equipment for health-care workers, pursuing increased capacity for COVID-19 testing, and strengthening its ability to trace contacts and respond to potential clusters of the virus as quickly as possible.

Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Jennifer Russell, announced three new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province today, bringing the total to 111.

The cases are:

  • An individual aged up to 10 in Zone 3 (Fredericton region)
  • An individual aged 30-39 in Zone 3 (Fredericton region)
  • An individual aged 40-49 in Zone 3 (Fredericton region)

Premier Blaine Higgs confirmed the three cases are members of the same family, in an effort to show New Brunswickers how one contact can infect several individuals.

Higgs, Russell, and Flemming put forward the same message that to continue seeing the trend move in the right direction in the province, New Brunswickers must stay the course and continue to stay at home, only go out when necessary, and to forego any gatherings over the Easter holiday weekend.

The Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development has delayed the opening of all recreational fishing seasons and the spring bear hunt until at least May 1. Fishing season would have normally begun Wednesday, April 15 and the spring bear hunt on Monday, April 20.  The decision will be re-evaluated April 30.

Just follow the link for the full details on the COVID-19 modelling, and information on the virus in the province is available online.

Standing in the snow outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today began by acknowledging recent job figures which show the current unemployment rate in the country has risen to 7.8 per cent.

Trudeau acknowledged the number was high, but not unexpected given the current situation due to COVID-19. He also said 4.5 million claims for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) had been processed.

Trudeau also addressed the fact there are still months, and possibly more than a year ahead which will be impacted by COVID-19. He said it’s likely Canadians will be living in at least a version of our current lifestyles of social distancing until a vaccine is made available for wide use.

“The initial peak, the top of the curve, may be in late spring, with the end of the first wave in the summer,” he said. “As Dr. (Theresa)Tam explained, there will likely be smaller outbreaks for a number of months after that. This will be the new normal until a vaccine is developed,” he warned.

Trudeau also acknowledged Thursday was the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge.

“A hundred years ago today, Canadians showed what mettle we are made of. I know each of us will rise to be worthy of the legacy of the heroes that built this country. We can do this, together.”

At 7 p.m. EDT on Thursday, there are 20,765 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada. Of those, Quebec has 10,912, and Ontario lags behind in second place with 5,759.

For details on everything from the number of tests done nationally, to how to apply for the CERB, and all other information on the virus in Canada, go to www.canada.ca

Please note – there will not be a COVID-19 roundup on Good Friday, April 10.

editor@stcroixcourier.ca