Zone 4 (Edmundston region) will move to the Orange level effective at midnight tonight under the province’s revised COVID-19 recovery plan.

Public Health recommended the move due to the escalating case counts, an outbreak in a high-vulnerability setting where there is risk of transmission to the community, and the impact on the health-care system and its ability to serve the community.

“While this is a first for the residents of Zone 4 since the province came out of lockdown, it is the seventh time we have had a region move to the Orange level,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard. “The good news is that every time we have had to move a zone to Orange, we have been able to quickly get the situation under control and we are confident we will be able to do that in Zone 4. We will achieve this by working together, and by following the directives of Public Health.”

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:

Province records eighth death related to COVID-19

Public Health confirmed that an individual between 60 and 69 died earlier today in Zone 4 as a result of underlying complications, including COVID-19.

“On behalf of all New Brunswickers, I extend sincere condolences to the family and friends of the person who died,” said Shephard. “You are in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.”

“This reminds us, once again, that behind the numbers and statistics of the COVID-19 pandemic are people,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “This was a fellow New Brunswicker who enjoyed life and love, with family and friends who cherished them. I offer my heartfelt sympathy to the family and loved ones of the deceased. Please know that we all share in the grief you are experiencing.”

Eight new cases

Public Health reported eight new cases of COVID-19 Friday.

Six of the cases are in Zone 4 (Edmundston region). They are close contacts of previously confirmed cases and are self-isolating. They are as follows:

  • one individual 30-39;
  • one individual 40-49;
  • three people 50-59; and
  • one individual 60 to 69.

The other two cases are travel-related and are self-isolating. They are:

  • one individual 30 to 39 in Zone 3 (Fredericton region); and
  • one individual 60 to 69 in Zone 6 (Bathurst region).

The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 554 and 468 have recovered. There have been eight deaths, and the number of active cases is 78 with four cases currently in the hospital, including three in intensive care. As of today, 137,234 tests have been conducted.

Case at Saint Mary’s Academy

On Thursday, Dec. 11, a positive case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Saint Mary’s Academy in Edmundston. The school community has been notified. Today is an operational response day and staff and students are staying home. School staff will contact families directly if there are any further impacts on learning. At this time, no student-to-student transmission has been determined in any school. If you or a family member have been in close contact with this case, you will be notified by Public Health through contact tracing. If you do not hear directly from Public Health, you have not been identified as a close contact.

Mandatory order revised

The state of emergency mandatory order was revised today to move Zone 4 to the Orange level and adjust requirements under the recovery levels.

A change has been made to the requirements of masks at the Orange level. While masks are still required indoors and outdoors in public spaces, they are only required outdoors when physical distancing of two metres cannot be maintained. The change comes after a review by Public Health weighing the risks of contracting the virus.

At the Orange level, masks are required when at a drive-thru window. However, masks are no longer required when accessing a drive-thru in regions at the Yellow alert level. This change was made because the risk level is low.

Exposure notifications

Public Health follows a standard process when addressing instances where the public may have been exposed to a case of COVID-19. In cases where record-keeping is able to identify anyone who may have been exposed, officials contact these individuals directly and do not issue a separate announcement. In cases where officials cannot be certain of exactly who may have been exposed to the virus in a given location, Public Health issues an announcement to alert those who could have been affected and provide instructions.

On Dec.11, Public Health identified a positive case in a traveller who may have been infectious on Dec. 4 while on the following flights:

  • Air Canada Flight 8372 – from Fort McMurray to Calgary.
  • Air Canada Flight 144 – from Calgary to Toronto.
  • Air Canada Flight 8918 – from Toronto to Moncton.

Everyone who travelled on these flights should continue to follow the directives given to them during the travel registration process and when they entered New Brunswick.

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