COVID-19 round-up for Thursday, June 4 – province sees first loss due to COVID-19

New Brunswick – The first death as a result of COVID-19 in the province was announced today, Thursday, June 4.

“I cautioned that the day would come when we would have sad news to share with you, and we knew it was only a matter of time before New Brunswick would suffer its first loss of life,” said Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Jennifer Russell. 

Russell identified the individual as a person between 80 and 89 who had underlying health conditions and was a resident at the Manior de la Vallee long term care facility in Atholville.

While Russell said the department of health “will not be providing any more details on the particular circumstances surrounding this individuals death”, the son of the gentleman that passed away identified his father Thursday morning in a Facebook post.

“In these difficult times, it is with a very, very heavy heart that I saw the passing of our father Daniel (Ti-Dan) Ouellette. He lost his fight against the COVID-19 virus this morning at 5:10 a.m. He will be missed by all of us,” was the sad Facebook post made by Michel Brigitte Ouellette, who confirmed in the same post his father was a resident at the Manoir de la Vallee long term care facility in Atholville.

Manoir de la Vallee was thrust into the spotlight last week when several cases of COVID-19 appeared in the residence as part of the cluster of cases in Zone 5, the Campbellton region.

There is also one new confirmed case of COVID-19 in the province today.

The new case is an individual between 20 and 29 in Zone 5, the Campbellton region, and is linked to Manoir de la Vallée.

Russell also said there are 300 individuals in Zone 5 who are self-isolating.

“Though we always knew this day would come, we were always hoping for the best that it wouldn’t,” said NB Premier Blaine Higgs.

Higgs said while Zone 5 will remain in the Orange phase of recovery, the all-party cabinet committee has determined beginning tomorrow, Friday, June 5 the remainder of the province can move into the second stage of the Yellow phase of recovery.

During this phase of the yellow level, more restrictions are being eased, subject to maintaining physical distancing measures, general guidelines from Public Health and the Guidelines for New Brunswick Workplaces issued by WorkSafeNB.

Businesses that choose to reopen during this phase must prepare an operational plan that can be provided to officials, if requested.

Effective Friday, June 5:

  • Indoor gatherings in private homes of 10 people or fewer are permitted.
  • Outdoor public gatherings of 50 people or fewer will be permitted with physical distancing.
  • Religious services, including wedding and funerals, of 50 people or fewer may take place indoors or outdoors with physical distancing.
  • Elective surgeries and other non-emergency health-care services will increase.
  • Outdoor visits with up to two visitors for residents in long-term care facilities will be permitted with physical distancing, if the facilities are able to do so.
  • Low-contact team sports will be permitted. Sports may operate as per the guidance provided by their respective national or provincial organizations if they identify means to limit the number and intensity of close contact during play. Players should check with their local organization to ensure it will be operating. All provincial, regional and local leagues shall maintain operational plans. Sport organizations can contact the Sport and Recreation Branch of the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture for more information. Youth leagues must ensure that spectators are limited to one accompanying adult per child.
  • The following will be permitted to open:
    • swimming pools, saunas and waterparks (gathering limit of 50 people per separate activity area)
    • gyms, yoga and dance studios
    • rinks and indoor recreational facilities (gathering limit of 50 people per separate activity area, and gathering limit of 50 spectators).
    • pool halls and bowling alleys.

Effective Friday, June 19:

  • Overnight camps will be allowed to open.
  • Indoor visits with one visitor at a time for residents of long-term care facilities will be permitted. (Unless the visitor requires support, in which case, two visitors at a time will be allowed.)
  • Canadian residents owning property in New Brunswick will be permitted to enter the province provided they self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Canadian residents with immediate family in New Brunswick (parent, child, sibling, grandchild, grandparent, significant other) will be permitted to enter the province provided they self-isolate for 14 days.

Opening of other sectors to be determined

The reopening of casinos, amusement centres, bingo halls, arcades, cinemas, bars (without seating), trade shows and conferences, large live performance venues and larger public gatherings will be determined once additional evidence is available on the province’s success in managing a resurgence of the virus.

Information on public health recovery phases, measures and guidelines is available online.

From outside Rideau Cottage, Justin Trudeau today said one time add-on payments to the Old Age Security (OAS) payment and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) payment announced last month would be received the week of July 6.  The OAS payment will be an additional $300 and the GIS will have an additional $200.  Seniors also saw a boost to their GST payment of $375 for a single person and $510 for couples. 

Trudeau also announced new COVID-19 modelling was being released this afternoon, and although Canadians are doing a good job flattening the curve, we need to remain vigilant.

He said Canadians still need to follow the directions of public health.

Details on the various benefit programs, funding opportunities, Canada’s job bank, application portals and up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Canada are all available at www.canada.ca

editor@stcroixcourier.ca