COVID-19 round-up for Wednesday, April 1 – province extends state of emergency, feds talk “historic measures”

New Brunswick – Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health for New Brunswick announced 11 new cases of COVID-19 in the province at today’s press briefing from Fredericton. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick to 81.

The new cases are as follows:

  • An individual aged 20-29 in Zone 1 (Moncton region)
  • An individual aged 50-59 in Zone 1 (Moncton region)
  • An individual aged 40-49 in Zone 2 (Saint John region)
  • An individual aged 60-69 in Zone 2 (Saint John region)
  • An individual aged 50-59 in Zone 2 (Saint John region)
  • An individual aged 30-39 in Zone 3 (Fredericton region)
  • An individual aged 40-49 in Zone 3 (Fredericton region)
  • An individual aged 50-59 in Zone 3 (Fredericton region)
  • An individual aged 50-59 in Zone 3 (Fredericton region)
  • An individual aged 50-59 in Zone 5 (Campbellton region)
  • An individual aged 60-69 in Zone 5 (Campbellton region)

Of these 81 cases, 43 are travel-related, 22 are close contacts of confirmed cases, three cases are from community transmission and 13 cases remain under investigation.

“This virus doesn’t discriminate and we are all vulnerable to it,” said Russell.

“We really need to take this very seriously – every individual has a part to play. So I am imploring all of you to continue to follow the directions around staying at home. It is really, really important.

“Don’t gamble with your health and the health of others,” she added.

“Failing to obey the emergency order that is currently in place has serious consequences,” said Premier Blaine Higgs, who also announced the state of emergency declaration in the province has been extended another 14 days, at which point the situation will be reassessed and if needed, extended further.

Higgs also discussed that although most New Brunswickers are adhering to the mandates associated with a state of emergency, there are still those who “are not taking it seriously”.

“We need these people to understand that violating an order under the Emergency Measures Act is against the law, and peace officers can lay charges,” said Higgs.

Fines can begin at $292, and Higgs warned they can go as high as $10,200.

“We are willing to do what it takes to protect the safety of all New Brunswickers.”

If you witness an individual or business violating the mandates under the Emergency Measures Act, you can call 1-844-462-8387.

In his daily press briefing from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reminded Canadians of the three-pronged assistance package the federal government has rolled out consisting of a wage subsidy, loans for businesses, and the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB).

Applications for CERB open April 6, and the portal can be found via Canada.ca

Trudeau also reminded employers the wage subsidy is for workers, and there will be “swift and severe” penalties for attempts to abuse the system.

“This is the largest economic program in Canada’s history,” said Trudeau, adding he would ask the House leader and deputy prime minister to call back parliament.

“This must be a team Canada effort,” he said.

He said Canadians hadn’t seen this level of civic mobilization since WWII, along with the biggest economic measures, all to defeat a health threat.

“But the government alone cannot win this fight. We all have to answer the call of duty,” he said.

“We, each of us, have to live up to our end of the bargain. We must fulfill our collective responsibility to each other.

“How well we do this right now determines where our country will be in two weeks or in two months. It’s in our hands. It’s in your hands.”

At 11 a.m. today, Canada had 9017 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The largest number is still Quebec, with 4162, followed by Ontario with 2392.

All updated details, financial benefit application information, and self-assessment tool can be found at Canada.ca

editor@stcroixcourier.ca