Higgs announces assistance for New Brunswickers, one new case brings total to 18

New Brunswick – One new case of the COVID-29 virus has been identified in New Brunswick, bringing the total number of cases to 18.

“This is a difficult time for all New Brunswickers,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health for the province during the daily news briefing from Fredericton.

“We are all confronted with an unprecedented challenge, and we are all being asked to respond with new routines that are unfamiliar and sometimes confusing.

“But bear this in mind; as you adjust to our new reality, the power to slow the spread of COVID-19, so that our healthcare providers can manage this illness, rests with you,” she added.

The newest case is a female between the ages of 20 and 30, in zone 1 (southeast) who had recently travelled.

Russell said two of the cases have been hospitalized, and as yet there has been no evidence of community transmission – which means a case emerges with no clear path to the source of infection.

The laboratory at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre is now able to provide all testing, so suspected cases can be identified more efficiently, and within the province.

Premier Blaine Higgs spoke about the tightening of inter-provincial borders, and the possibility of PM Justin Trudeau enacting a national state of emergency.

“I spoke with the Prime Minister and my fellow premiers last evening,” said Higgs.

“One of the topics of discussion was inter-provincial borders. You can expect more measures in the coming days on that topic.

“I also expressed to the Prime Minister the need for consistency. We need a national plan that addresses travel between provinces.

“Enacting a national state of emergency is the best tool to ensure consistency across our country in the level of healthcare, safeguarding our supply chain, and in mitigating economic impacts.

“I did support this measure on the call last night, and I do support this measure,” said Higgs.

Higgs also announced a plan to help New Brunswickers who have had their employment (and those who are self-employed) interrupted as a result of the pandemic to bridge the gap between losing their employment or closing their business and receiving their federal benefits.

This one-time $900 benefit will be administered through the Red Cross. Furthers details on how to apply will follow in coming days.

New Brunswick also launched a phone number and email New Brunswickers can contact to report those who are not complying with requirements of the Mandatory Order of Self-Isolation. If a member of the public wishes to report an alleged violation by a person or a business, they can call 1-844-462-8387, or email helpaide@gnb.ca

“Officers will follow-up on every complaint that has specifics, and everyone who is in violation of the emergency declaration risks being charged,” said Higgs.

For more information regarding COVID-19 in the province, go to www.gnb.ca/coronavirus