Public Health confirmed today that an individual between 80 and 89 in Zone 4 (Edmundston region) has died as a result of underlying complications, including COVID-19, bringing the total number of COVID-related deaths in the province to 22.

The person was a resident of Villa des Jardins, an adult residential facility in Edmundston.

“On behalf of all New Brunswickers, I express my sincere condolences to the friends and family of this person,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard.

“I am sending my heartfelt condolences to the loved ones who are mourning the loss of this individual,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health.

Two new cases

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

The one case in Zone 1 (Moncton region) is as follows:

  • an individual 20-29.

The one case in Zone 4 (Edmundston region) is as follows:

  • an individual 19 and under.

The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 1,377. Since yesterday, 15 people have recovered for a total of 1,193 recoveries. There have been 22 deaths, and the number of active cases is 161. Six patients are hospitalized, and two are in intensive care. Yesterday, 1,232 tests were conducted for a total of 214,163.

COVID-19 variants

Dr. Gordon Dow, an infectious disease specialist with Horizon Health Network and a member of New Brunswick’s pandemic task force, delivered a presentation today about COVID-19 variants and their impact on New Brunswick.

Dow said that, while the variants do pose a threat, New Brunswickers can control the spread of all strains of the virus by wearing a mask in public, maintaining a safe physical distance and getting tested if they have any symptoms.

“The COVID-19 variants are 30 to 70 per cent more contagious,” Dow said. “But if we all keep following Public Health guidelines, while the provincial government works to vaccinate our most vulnerable residents, New Brunswick will remain a leader in our response to the virus.”

Reminder of Red and Orange levels

Zone 4 (Edmundston region) remains at the Red level. All other zones remain in the Orange level under the province’s mandatory order.

Shephard said she is hopeful all areas of the province will eventually be able to return to the Yellow level of recovery, and the Atlantic Bubble will be able to reopen.

“We have to go about making this happen in the right way,” Shephard said. “Health zones will need to remain in the Orange level for at least two or three weeks, giving the province time to stabilize the number of active COVID-19 cases before we can consider the possibility of moving to Yellow. We are currently working closely with Public Health to analyze the situation and determine whether any changes should be made to Yellow guidelines to ensure the health and safety of the public.”

Shephard said government officials will keep the public informed of any changes to alert levels in the weeks ahead.

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