April 14, 2020

FREDERICTON (GNB) – A process has been established for the public or businesses to donate personal protective equipment to help frontline health professionals combat COVID-19.

Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, said that people who want to donate items such as masks, gowns, gloves, hand sanitizer and other personal protective equipment should contact Service New Brunswick, which manages government procurement.

“While we have enough supplies in the health sector to meet the current demand, New Brunswickers have been calling the public health office asking how they can help those working in our hospitals, nursing homes and special care homes to stay safe,” said Russell. “These gestures of generosity are touching.”

Donators will be asked to complete and submit a form detailing specific information on the manufacturer, specifications, and certifications (CSA etc.) of the material to be donated, so it can be determined if the material is free of contamination.

If a donation is accepted, specific instructions for delivery will be provided. Physical distancing will be followed in the drop-off and delivery process.

No new cases

Public Health reported no new cases of COVID-19 today.

Of the 116 cases previously confirmed, 66 are travel-related, 40 are close contacts of confirmed cases, eight are the result of community transmission and two remain under investigation.

During the pandemic, 12 people have been hospitalized and seven have since been discharged. Three of the five patients remaining in hospital are in an intensive care unit.

To date, 75 people have recovered.

“We are definitely moving in the right direction but we have not yet reached our destination,” said Russell. “We must maintain our resolve. We cannot let up, not even for a minute. Please, continue to stay at home as much as you possibly can.”

Stay healthy

Russell encouraged New Brunswickers to keep healthy during the pandemic.

“Routine illnesses can put further strain on an already stressed health-care system,” she said. “Look after yourself by eating healthy food, getting regular exercise and plenty of rest. We need you to be well as we go through this pandemic, and for the recovery that will follow.”

Neighbours helping neighbours

Premier Blaine Higgs stressed the importance of staying connected with family, friends and neighbours during the pandemic.

“Do something that helps someone else and you will feel good at the same time,” said Higgs. “We are all struggling right now, so finding healthy ways to feel good are important.”

Support is available for people who need help to get through this challenging time. On the coronavirus webpage, there is contact information for organizations including the Kids Help Phone, the CHIMO Helpline and community addictions and mental health centres.

Income benefit

The one-time $900 New Brunswick Workers Emergency Income Benefit has been distributed to more than 33,000 people. The benefit was created for workers or self-employed people who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

To date, the provincial government has provided more than $30 million in benefit payments.

The benefit was intended to provide a bridge for those who would be applying for Employment Insurance or the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Since the federal program began on April 6, applications for the New Brunswick benefit have since closed. Applications which were submitted by the deadline continue to be processed.

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

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