COVID-19: 156 new cases and in phase 2 on December 27

Public Health announced 156 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, a maximum of four days. Meanwhile, the number of people in intensive care due to the coronavirus peaks this month.

All New Brunswick Health Zones will switch to Phase 2 of the Winter Plan on December 27 at 11:59 p.m.

“The number of cases is lower in the northern areas of the province. However, the total number of cases continues to rise and the risk is high in all areas, ”said Blaine Higgs.

It is important to note that the province also changed the measures associated with phase 2 on Tuesday. This new change was necessary to harmonize New Brunswick’s measures with those of neighboring provinces, according to Dr. Jennifer Russell.

Under the new phase 2 rules to be implemented on Monday, households will have to limit their contacts to a list of 10 people (phase 2 was previously anticipated for a two-household bubble).

The capacity of restaurants, hairdressers, shops, churches and sports halls will be limited to 50% and the distance of two meters will be mandatory. It will be impossible to dance in bars. Choirs will not be allowed in places of worship. Venues for public events will be limited to 150 people or fewer, or 50% of their maximum capacity, whichever is less.

Phase 2 measures initially included a ban on nonessential interprovincial travel, but those guidelines were relaxed on Tuesday.

Therefore, they remain the same as during phase 1, that is, travel registration and isolation of unvaccinated travelers.

International travelers must follow federal guidelines for screening and isolation, and must be screened every 5 to 10 days.

Tuesday marked the fourteenth consecutive day that authorities have announced more than 100 cases.

Prime Minister Blaine Higgs has indicated that the government has chosen to impose Phase 2 after Christmas, but before New Year’s Day, with large gatherings on January 1 conducive to the spread of the Omicron variant.

Among the 156 cases announced Tuesday, 40 people have this variant, according to Russell. Therefore, there are 71 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in the province.

In the last seven days, the provincial government has registered 1,015 cases, compared to 875 in the previous seven days. This is a 16% increase. It is the first time since the start of the pandemic that more than 1,000 cases have been detected during the same week.

The number of active cases was reduced by one compared to the previous day. Now it is 1268. It was 1051 a week ago and 640 a month ago.

Forty-one people infected with COVID-19 are hospitalized. This is a decrease of one from Monday. The number of patients in intensive care is now 19. This is the highest since November 24.

No one with the Omicron variant has been hospitalized so far, but Dr. Russell says that may change soon.

“We need to do everything we can to keep ourselves, our families, and our community safe,” Medical Director of Health Dr. Jennifer Russell said at a news conference Tuesday.

Ms. Russell reported on the health situation of New Brunswick residents. In both Maine and Quebec or Nova Scotia, COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in recent days. A situation that will soon affect NB “It is not if, but when. We have to prepare for it. The Omicron variant is much more contagious than those of the past. The number of infections is expected to double every three days. “

“We are going to see an exponential expansion in the number of cases,” Prime Minister Blaine Higgs said.

Government modeling mechanisms are targeting up to 400 COVID-19 cases per day at the end of January, more than double the daily record of cases in the province since the start of the pandemic.

The pressure on our health care system will be even greater, Ms. Russel said, adding that unvaccinated people are at higher risk for severe symptoms.

Separately, people who work in hospitals, schools, day care centers and nursing homes over the age of 18 are now eligible to receive a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“These measures are our best defense against COVID-19,” insisted Health Minister Dorothy Shephard.

Screening changes

Dr. Jennifer Russell also announced that as of today, contact tracing teams will no longer be responsible for notifying the contacts of infected people who have been exposed to the virus.

Rather, this task falls on the shoulders of the infected themselves.

Public Health will inform those infected, or their employer, on the best way to tell their contacts that they have been exposed to the virus and how to get tested and isolate themselves.

Dr. Russell said Nova Scotia also has this in place.

Public Health will only be responsible for notifying the contacts of infected people when no other means are available.

Testing in schools

Starting today, when an infection is confirmed in a K-8 school, the entire school will be treated as a close contact of the infected person and all students and staff must receive rapid tests every day.

In high schools, this rule applies more to the class of the infected person and to those who ride the same bus.

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