Province announced eight new cases of COVID-19, identified the source of the outbreak in Zone 1 as travel related, and talked business recovery

New Brunswick – Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, and Blaine Higgs, premier, today, Wednesday, October 14, announced eight new cases of COVID-19 in the province.

Russell began the press briefing with a moment of levity, sharing a post she’d seen on social media which said “Today marks five years we’ve been in 2020.”

The eight new cases are:

Six cases in Zone 5 – the Campbellton region are as follows:

  • one individual between 30 and 39;
  • two people between 40 and 49;
  • two people between 50 and 59; and
  • one individual between 60 and 69.

All of these cases are self-isolating and under investigation.

Two cases in Zone 1 – Moncton region are:

  • one individual between 60 and 69; and
  • one individual between 70 and 79.

These cases are linked to the outbreak at the Notre-Dame Manor, a special-care home, and are self-isolating.

Russell also announced the source of the outbreak in Zone 1 has been “conclusively concluded” as travel related through the vigorous contact tracing process.  Russell said the conclusion was good news as it ruled out community spread as the cause of the outbreak.

Five people remain in hospital, with one still in the intensive care unit.  The province has had 292 cases in total, and 90 are currently active.

Also through the contact tracing process, there are currently 150 individuals self-isolating in Zone 1, and 320 in Zone 5.

Russell said in regards to the cases in several schools in the Dalhousie region, none of the cases are the result of student to student contact, and in most cases schools are closed due to operational reasons with individuals currently in self-isolation.

Zones 1 and 5 are Orange

Zone 1 and Zone 5 remain at the Orange level under the province’s COVID-19 recovery plan. Orange level rules are available online.

All other zones in New Brunswick remain at the Yellow level. During this time, Public Health measures and guidelines must still be followed.

To find out the boundaries of each health zone, see the map available at:

“We are at continuous risk of new outbreaks because the COVID-19 virus is all around us,” said Russell.

She added a global pandemic plus a lack of vaccine equals risk.

“The only guarantee is there are no guarantees,” said Russell.

“Don’t let your guard down – be vigilant.”

“These developments do not mean we have gotten off track,” said Higgs.

Higgs then changed tack and focused on the provincial economy and businesses.

“Many businesses are just starting to recover from impacts they experienced during the first wave of the pandemic,” said Higgs.

He reminded New Brunswick business owners the province offers a Business Navigator service is available to answer any questions they may have.

The Business Navigator service can be reached at 1-833-799-7966 or nav@navnb.ca

“Strong, resilient businesses are crucial to ensuring New Brunswickers economy not only rebounds from the pandemic, but also continues to grow in the months and years ahead,” he said.

Working capital loans of up to $100,000 are available through the NB Small Business Emergency Working Capital Program. These are accessible to small businesses with one to 49 employees, with sales of less than $10 million in the most recent fiscal year.

Working capital loans of more than $100,000 are available to assist eligible employers in responding to the challenges associated with COVID-19. Business can apply directly through Opportunities New Brunswick.

Businesses with existing loans from a provincial government department may be able to defer interest and principal payments on their loans for up to six months. This is decided on a case-by-case basis.

Since March, Opportunity NB’s Business Navigators have answered more than 4,000 inquiries from businesses to assist with reopening, help them access available programs and provide guidance on how to operate safely.

A detailed summary of available support, including national programs, is available online.

Higgs said the provincial programs are meant to be compliments to available federal programs.

Higgs said 80 per cent of businesses which had closed during the pandemic are now reopened, up from 73 per cent in September.

Possible school exposures

On Tuesday, Oct. 13, families of École Aux Quatre Vents in Dalhousie were notified of a positive case in the school. In addition, school communities were made aware of possible exposure to a COVID-19 case at École François-Xavier-Daigle in Allardville, École Place-des-Jeunes in Bathurst, and École Communautaire Carrefour Étudiant in Beresford. If you or a family member has been in close contact with the case, you will be notified by Public Health for contact tracing. At this time, it is not anticipated that learning will be impacted at these schools.

editor@stcroixcourier.ca