COVID-19 round-up for Wednesday, May 13 – the hump day edition

New Brunswick – For the seventh day straight (yep, that’s a week!) there were no new cases of COVID-19 to report in the province today.

Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Jennifer Russell, said this is great news, but “caution is still required”.

Russell said masks should be worn in situations where physically distancing isn’t possible, like a crowded grocery store, but masks should ideally only be worn for short periods.

She said if you are in a situation where you need to wear a mask consistently, to be sure to change it regularly, and wash masks in hot, soapy water after wearing.  Masks are designed to protect others should you be an asymptomatic carrier of COVID-19.

Russell said this is all part of what will be the “new normal” until a vaccine or a treatment is found and made available.

NB Premier Blaine Higgs said provincial borders are still and will remain closed for the foreseeable future to all non-essential travel. 

He said an average of 39 vehicles per day are refused entry to New Brunswick, but there are still those who can enter the province, whether it be to move goods are services or to travel through New Brunswick to get to places like Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Higgs said early data shows prior to the move to the Orange phase of recovery in the province, 21 per cent of small businesses in New Brunswick were operating, and since the announcement on Friday, May 8, that number has already climbed to 26 per cent.

He also said as of the morning of Wednesday, May 13, some 1833 people had visited the virtual job fair.  Higgs encouraged those looking for work to go to the JobMatchNB page on the GNB website, http://theworkroom.homestead.com/COVID19-RESOURCE-PAGE

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

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau once again appeared outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa today to announce Canada has authorized the first serological test for COVID-19 antibodies.

“This is a critical step for the work of the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force,” said Trudeau, “which now has a safe and approved test that can detect antibodies specific to COVID-19, in an individual’s blood.”

The study of antibodies will offer better information in the overall immunity factors and give researchers a better understanding of how the virus functions.

Trudeau also announced how a previously introduced $1 billion Regional Relief and Recovery Fund would be rolled out across the country.  The money will be split between six agencies: the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, FedDev Ontario, FedNor, Western Economic Diversification Canada, and CanNor.

“These organizations understand the economic realities and specific challenges facing both your region and your business,” said Trudeau.  “They can help you with your most pressing needs, whether it’s covering costs or keeping your employees.”

He said if you did not qualify for the wage subsidy, or the emergency business account, reach out to these agencies to see what they can do to help.

Finally, Trudeau said starting Friday, students can begin applying for the $9 billion Canada Emergency Student Benefit.  In preparation, student should go to the My Account section of the Canada Revenue Agency to facilitate the process once Friday hits.

At 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 13, there were 71,486 cases of COVID-19 in Canada.  Quebec still leads the pack with 39,225, and Ontario sits at 21,236.

For application portals, details on various benefit programs, and information on COVID-19 in Canada, go to https://www.canada.ca

editor@stcroixcourier.ca