COVID-19 round-up for Tuesday, March 31 – province warns against complacency, feds announce more to be made in Canada

New Brunswick – Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer for New Brunswick announced two new cases of COVID-19 in the province during today’s press briefing.

This brings the total number of cases in New Brunswick to 70. Nine of those cases have now recovered fully from the virus.

The new cases are travel-related or contacts of travel-related cases:

  • An individual aged 60-69 in Zone 3 (Fredericton region)
  • An individual aged 20-29 in Zone 4 (Edmundston region)

“Just because we have had a couple days of low new-case numbers, now is not the time to be complacent,” said Russell. “We cannot lose focus.”

Russell advised New Brunswickers to behave as though they already have the virus and could transmit it to others. She reminded residents there is still much work to be done to flatten the curve of COVID-19, and individuals must still stay at home as much as possible, and only go out when absolutely necessary.

Premier Blaine Higgs encouraged businesses who are feeling the pinch in the wake of COVID-19 to use all the resources available to them to stay afloat, and be innovative in their approach to their business.

On Monday at noon, the New Brunswick Workers Emergency Income Benefit application opened, and since then, some 38,000 New Brunswickers have applied for the one-time $900 income benefit to help bridge the gap between their loss of employment and federal assistance kicking in.

Applications may be completed online or by calling the Red Cross at 1-800-863-6582 (toll free) from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.

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

From his daily press briefing outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today talked about efforts to assist Canadian companies retool/refit to produce needed medical supplies like ventilators and masks right in Canada.

“I know that this pandemic has been incredibly challenging for people right across the country, but we’re also seeing the best of what it means to be Canadian,” said Trudeau.

“From coast to coast to coast, businesses are retooling to produce face shields, ventilators, hand sanitizers and other supplies our health-care professionals need.

“To make it easier for companies to help out during this critical time, we launched Canada’s plan to mobilize industry to fight COVID-19 a little over a week ago. In the time since, we’ve spoken directly to almost 3,000 companies who’ve reached out to offer their help.

“We said that we were close to reaching agreements with Thornhill Medical, Medicom, and Spartan Bioscience. Today, we’re announcing that we have moved forward with contracts with these three Canadian companies to make supplies such as ventilators, surgical masks, and test kits.

“I want to recognize the great work Minister (Navdeep) Bains has done to make this happen. We’ve also signed letters of intent with five other companies: Precision Biomonitoring, Fluid Energy Group, Irving Oil, Calgo Group, and Stanfields.

“We know that the demand for critical equipment and supplies will grow in the coming weeks, so we need a sustainable, stable supply of these products. And that means making them at home, and we’re optimistic that they will be available in the coming weeks.”

Trudeau announced $2 billion would be allocated to purchase protective personal equipment, and assist the provinces/territories in making bulk purchases. This funding is also designed to assist with the purchase of items such as face masks, test kits, and hand sanitizer.

As of 11:30 a.m. EDT, there were 8548 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada. Quebec still holds almost 50 per cent of the cases with 4162, with Ontario next with 1966.

For all the details, go to Canada. ca

editor@stcroixcourier.ca