Edmundston and the Upper Madawaska region will move from lockdown to the Orange level at midnight tonight under the province’s mandatory order.

“I want to thank the people of the Edmundston region for stepping up and doing what was necessary to keep their loved ones and their communities healthy and safe,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “It has not been easy, but thanks to your dedication and caring, infections were lowered and lives were saved. You should be proud of this accomplishment. The work is not over, however, and the risks are still around us, so I ask that you continue to follow public health guidelines in the days to come.”

Under the Orange level, a household bubble can be extended to include a Steady 10 list of contacts. Masks remain mandatory in indoor public spaces and in outdoor public spaces where physical distancing cannot be maintained. Restaurant dining rooms may open, and people may dine out with their household and with members of their Steady 10.

Spas and salons, fitness centres and entertainment centres may operate under a COVID-19 operational plan with additional public health measures. Faith venues may operate, but in-person services are limited to 50 participants or fewer. Recreational and sport organizations may operate but are limited to practices and skills and drills within a single team.

60 and older now eligible for vaccination

The provincial government announced today that people 60 and older may now schedule an appointment online to receive their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine through Vitalité or Horizon health networks or by contacting a participating pharmacy.

People in this age group, or a caregiver or family member calling on their behalf, can make the appointment.

Walk-in appointments are not available. When booking an appointment, people should indicate if they are self-isolating because pharmacies and clinics may have specific processes for them.

One death

Public Health confirmed today that an individual 20-29 in Zone 1 (Moncton region) has died as a result of COVID-19. This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the province to 36.

“Marcia and I join all New Brunswickers in extending our heartfelt sympathies to the loved ones of this person,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them as they grieve this tragic loss.”

“This news is never easy to hear and I urge everyone to keep the grieving family and friends of this individual in their thoughts and prayers,” said Russell. “This is the youngest person we have lost in our province to COVID-19 and it is a sad reminder that no one is immune to this virus.”

24 new cases

Public Health reported 24 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday.

The two cases in Zone 1 (Moncton region) are as follows:

  • an individual 20-29; and
  • an individual 40-49.

One case is a temporary foreign worker and related to travel while the other case is under investigation.

The one case in Zone 3 (Fredericton region) is as follows:

  • an individual 19 and under.

This case is under investigation.

The 21 cases in Zone 4 (Edmundston region) are as follows:

  • two people 20-29;
  • an individual 30-39;
  • four people 50-59;
  • two people 60-69;
  • four people 70-79;
  • four people 80-89; and
  • four people 90 and over.

All 21 cases are residents and staff at Pavillon Beau-Lieu, a special care home in Grand Falls.

The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 1,882 Since yesterday, eight people have recovered for a total of 1,708 recoveries. There have been 36 deaths, and the number of active cases is 137. Six patients are hospitalized, including two in an intensive care unit. Yesterday, 1,220 tests were conducted for a total of 285,473.

COVID-19 testing in Nackawic

A temporary outdoor, drive-through testing clinic is being set up in the parking lot of the Nackawic Shopping Mall in response to a possible public exposure which took place at Canada Post, 135 Otis Dr., from Monday, April 19, to Thursday, April 22.

The temporary, appointment-only clinic will operate from noon to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 28, Thursday, April 29, and Friday, April 30. Testing is available for individuals who do not have any symptoms of COVID-19 but want to be tested.

Anyone with symptoms of the virus and those who have been at the site of possible public exposure are urged to request a test online or call Tele-Care 811 to get an appointment. When requesting a test online, please select “Hartland” as your preferred site. When you are called for an appointment, indicate that you wish to be tested at the temporary site in Nackawic.

“Please get tested if you have been at this location, or at any other site, on any of the days and times when public exposures have been reported, even if you do not have symptoms,” said Russell. “You and your family do not have to self-isolate but should self-monitor for symptoms and follow all Public Health guidelines.”

Confirmed case at George Street Middle School in Fredericton (Zone 3)

On Monday, April 26, a positive case of COVID-19 was confirmed at George Street Middle School in Fredericton and the school community has been notified. Public Health advised all school staff, students and their families to self-isolate until midnight, Thursday, April 29, to allow for contact tracing and for testing. The school will be closed for three days. Testing will be mandatory for all students and school personnel in order for their isolation to be lifted.

If you or a family member have been in close contact with this 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.

Reminder of increased fines for violating mandatory order

The minimum fine for violating the province’s mandatory order has increased from $292.50 to $580.50. The minimum fine applies to each offence under the Emergency Measures Act, and if the offence continues past one day, the fine per offence is $580.50 per day. The maximum fine is $24,484.50, which includes a surcharge and fees.

“It is imperative that everyone take this situation seriously and follow the directives of Public Health and the province’s mandatory order,” said Higgs. “If you violate the order, you could be fined and each day you are in violation is considered a new day and will be subject to a new fine.”

Reminder of modified isolation for truckers / cross-border commuters

New modified isolation guidelines are now in place for truckers who regularly cross the border and for regular cross-border commuters.

The provincial government plans for these additional measures to be in place for about a month to achieve a reduction in the spread of the virus, prevent overwhelming the health-care system, keep most of the province at the Yellow level and to avoid widespread lockdowns.

More information is available on the province’s COVID-19 page.

“The only real change is that we are asking them to stay in their home whenever they are not working,” said Higgs. “We depend on our truck drivers, and I am thankful for the important work they do – but essential does not mean immune. What is happening in other provinces could easily happen here if we are not vigilant.”

Reminder about vaccinations for homebound individuals

Extra-Mural/Ambulance New Brunswick will provide vaccinations to homebound individuals 55 and older who are unable to leave their home to go to a pharmacy or regional health authority vaccination clinic. Existing clients of the Extra-Mural Program will be assessed to determine if they qualify for this service. Homebound individuals who are not Extra-Mural clients may also be referred for a home vaccination by their primary care provider beginning May 3.

“Please do not call the Extra-Mural Program directly as the staff members are unable to refer you for vaccination,” said Russell. “If you are not a client of the Extra-Mural Program, you need to be referred by your primary care provider, such as a physician or a nurse practitioner.”

Reminder of Orange and Yellow levels

A section of Zone 4, including Edmundston and the upper Madawaska region, remains in lockdown until midnight tonight, at which time they will move to the Orange level.

The communities of Saint-Léonard, Grand Falls, Drummond, New Denmark and Four Falls remain in the Orange level.

All other zones and communities in the province, including the Saint-Quentin and Kedgwick regions in Zone 4, remain in the Yellow level.

No travel is recommended in or out of areas in the Orange levels but travel between areas in Orange is permitted. Travel among Yellow level areas is also permitted.

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