Red level circuit breaker has been announced for a section of Zone 4 (Edmundston region), including Edmundston and the upper Madawaska region, effective at 6 p.m. today.

The rest of Zone 4, including Grand Falls, Kedgwick, Saint-Quentin, and Saint-Léonard, will remain in the Yellow level for now, along with the rest of the province. A map of the circuit breaker area is available online.

The area will remain in the Red level for at least four days. Mass testing for asymptomatic people is scheduled for today and tomorrow to help determine how widespread the outbreak is.

“Depending on our findings, this measure could be extended for a longer period of time and it may need to be expanded to cover the rest of Zone 4,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “I am appealing directly to the people of the Edmundston area to stay within their household bubble, wear a mask, maintain two metres of physical distance in public and follow all other public health measures.”

Under the Red level, residents must remain within a single-household bubble, which may be extended to include caregivers, a family member who needs support or some other person who needs support. Masks are mandatory in indoor public spaces and in outdoor public spaces where physical distancing of two metres cannot be maintained. Travel in and out of the circuit breaker area is not permitted. A full list of guidelines is available online.

Mass testing for asymptomatic people in Zone 4

“I encourage everyone who has no symptoms and is not self-isolating to get tested at one of the mass testing clinics being held today and tomorrow,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard. “No appointment is necessary, and the more people who get tested, the better we will be able to determine what steps are needed to get the situation under control.”

Testing will be held today and Friday, March 26, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Saint-Basile arena, at 275 Principale St.

No appointment is necessary. Screening tests will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis. Asymptomatic people do not need to self-isolate while awaiting results unless advised to do so by Public Health.

People who have previously booked an appointment for a test at the Edmundston Regional Hospital’s assessment centre should go to these appointments.

People with symptoms are not permitted to attend the mass testing clinic. Instead, they can request a test online or call Tele-Care 811 to get an appointment at the nearest screening centre.

30 new cases

Public Health reported 30 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday.

The five cases in Zone 2 (Saint John region) are as follows:

  • an individual 20-29;
  • two people 30-39; and
  • two people 40-49.

All of these cases are travel related.

The 24 cases in Zone 4 (Edmundston region) are as follows:

  • nine people 19 and under;
  • three people 20-29;
  • six people 30-39;
  • two people 40-49;
  • three people 60-69; and
  • an individual 70-79.

Of the 24 cases, 14 cases are travel related, nine are contacts of a previous case and one is under investigation.

The one case in Zone 6 (Bathurst region) is as follows:

  • an individual 50-59. This case is under investigation.

All 30 cases are self-isolating.

The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 1,546. Since yesterday, three people have recovered for a total of 1,426 recoveries. There have been 30 deaths, and the number of active cases is 89. Three patients are hospitalized. Yesterday, 1,120 tests were conducted for a total of 248,551.

Revised case count

Public Health is revising the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in New Brunswick.

An individual previously identified as a case in Zone 1 (Moncton region) has been removed from the confirmed list of cases due to the identification of false positive results. The lab is working to determine the cause of the false positive.

When Public Health evaluates the results of its tests, it considers the epidemiological links and case information to determine the likelihood for these to be positive. In certain rare situations, such as this one, the results were not in keeping with the patient information or the COVID-19 activity in the area, so the samples were retested. The individual involved is being informed of the negative result.

New group eligible for vaccination

Beginning today, people 40 and over with three or more chronic conditions may begin booking vaccination appointments for April at clinics that will be organized by Horizon Health Network and Vitalité Health Network.

Those eligible are asked to review the list of chronic conditions included online prior to making an appointment and to print a copy of the declaration form.

Those who meet the requirements may book an appointment online or call 1-833-437-1424.

Confirmed case at École Régionale Saint-Basile (Zone 4)

A positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at École Régionale Saint-Basile and the school community has been notified. Students, staff and families have been asked to self-isolate until Saturday, March 27, as contact tracing is carried out. The school and child-care facility located within the school, Halte Scolaire St-Basile, will be closed today and on Friday, March 26.

If you or a family member have been in close contact with a case, you will be notified by Public Health for contact tracing. If you do not hear directly from Public Health, you have not been identified as a close contact.

Exposure notification

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 provides instructions.

Public Health has identified a potential public exposure to the virus at the following location in Edmundston:

  • Dollarama, 15 Mowin St., on March 21 and 22.

Vaccination clinics for staff at high schools

This week, 4,500 staff from high schools provincewide will have the opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccination at a clinic in one of 16 locations. Schools will be closed to students on the days that local clinics are being held to allow staff to be vaccinated and to plan for the full return to school.

Vaccination clinics in the Tracadie and Moncton areas will be available for staff from the following schools on Friday, March 26:

  • Bernice MacNaughton High School in Moncton
  • Caledonia Regional High School in Hillsborough
  • J.M.A. Armstrong/Salisbury Middle School in Salisbury
  • Petitcodiac Regional School
  • Riverview High School
  • Tantramar Regional High School in Sackville
  • École L'Odyssée in Moncton
  • École Mathieu-Martin in Dieppe
  • Moncton High School
  • Harrison Trimble High School in Moncton
  • Centre scolaire communautaire La fontaine in Neguac
  • École Marie-Esther in Shippagan
  • Polyvalente W.-Arthur-Losier in Tracadie
  • Polyvalente Louis-Mailloux in Caraquet

Additional clinics will be held on Monday, March 29, for high school staff in the Shediac, Bathurst and Campbellton regions.

More detailed information about the clinics and registration will be sent directly to the appropriate school staff.

In the coming weeks, additional vaccination clinics will be held for staff in elementary and middle schools, including bus drivers, and for early childhood service providers and child-care staff as part of the large employer section of the vaccine rollout plan.

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Reminder of Yellow and Red levels

The Edmundston area circuit breaker will move to the Red level at 6 p.m. All other zones, including the communities outside the circuit breaker in Zone 4, remain in the Yellow level under the province’s mandatory order.

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