FREDERICTON (GNB) – Zone 2 (Saint John region) will move to the Yellow level effective at midnight tonight.

Public Health made the recommendation because the growth in new cases has slowed significantly, compliance with Public Health directives has increased, and the testing backlog has been addressed.

“I thank everyone who has done their part by following the rules by staying within their single-household bubble and wearing a mask in all public places,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard. “New Brunswick is leading the way by keeping our case numbers low and keeping outbreaks contained when they do happen. While we have had to move zones to the Orange level several times since our province came out of lockdown, we have been able to quickly get the situation under control every single time.”

In the Yellow level of recovery, people are no longer required to stick to a one-household bubble and informal indoor gatherings of up to 20 people are permitted.

Public Health recommends that these 20 people be limited to the same circle of close family and friends. This will slow the spread of the virus and make it easier to trace contacts when outbreaks happen.

“Everyone should aim to keep their social contacts, the people you spend time with without wearing a mask or maintaining physical distance, to no more than 20 individuals,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “I strongly suggest that everyone make a list of their close contacts and aim to keep it to the same 20 for the rest of 2020. If we all do this, we stand a better chance of limiting the impact of future outbreaks.”

COVID-19 vaccine planning

A detailed vaccine plan for New Brunswick is being developed, and priority groups who will receive the vaccine first have been determined.

These groups include:

  • long-term care residents and staff;
  • staff from Provincial Rapid Outbreak Management Teams who respond to COVID-19 outbreaks;
  • Extra-Mural/Ambulance New Brunswick staff;
  • health-care workers;
  • First Nations nurses; and
  • seniors 85 or older.

“We expect the first 1,950 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to arrive in New Brunswick next week,” said Greg MacCallum, director of the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization. “In a province of more than 700,000 people, a total of 1,950 doses is a small number, but it is the first step in a program of regular deliveries going forward. We need people to understand that it will take much of 2021 to roll out and administer vaccine to all New Brunswickers, and to all Canadians.”

New cases

Public Health reported four new cases of COVID-19 today.

The cases are as follows:

  • one individual 30-39 in Zone 2 (Saint John region);
  • one individual 20-29 in Zone 4 (Edmundston region);
  • one individual 30-39 in Zone 4 (Edmundston region); and
  • one individual 40-49 in Zone 4 (Edmundston region).

All cases are self-isolating and under investigation.

The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 546 and 464 have recovered. There have been seven deaths, and the number of active cases is 75 with four cases currently in the hospital, including three in intensive care. As of today, 136,559 tests have been conducted.

Mandatory order renewed

The state of emergency mandatory order was renewed today under the authority of the Emergency Measures Act.

Media Contact(s)

Bruce Macfarlane, communications, Department of Health, 506-476-1376, bruce.macfarlane@gnb.ca.

Original Link: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/news/news_release.2020.12.0674.html

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