April 3, 2020, Four new cases of COVID-19, assistance for post-secondary students

FREDERICTON (GNB) – Public Health has updated the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province.

Testing at the microbiology laboratory at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton has identified four new cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick to 95.

Of the 95 cases, 54 are travel-related, 28 are close contacts of confirmed cases, three cases are from community transmission and 10 cases remain under investigation.

In six cases individuals were hospitalized, but two have since been discharged. Four patients remain in hospital, with one in the intensive care unit.

To date, 25 people have recovered.

The new cases are:

  • An individual aged 30-39 in Zone 3 (Fredericton region)
  • An individual aged 40-49 in Zone 3 (Fredericton region)
  • An individual aged 60-69 in Zone 3 (Fredericton region)
  • An individual aged 30-39 in Zone 5 (Campbellton region)

“As we see our cases continue to increase it is important that we keep washing our hands, continue to practise physical distancing and also continue to stay at home,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “What we do now to flatten the curve will save lives in our province. We have community transmission so please follow the guidelines.”

Assistance for post-secondary students

The Emergency Bridging Fund for Vulnerable Post-Secondary Students will support students who are directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will be distributed by post-secondary institutions based upon eligibility criteria and will provide a one-time amount of up to $750 per student.

“The fund will support post-secondary students, including international students, who demonstrate a financial gap in meeting their basic needs between now and the end of the term,” said Premier Blaine Higgs.

Students must contact their institution directly to be considered and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Funding support will be based upon the need for food, shelter, unanticipated medical costs not covered through health plans, and unforeseen additional academic costs.

To qualify, vulnerable students must not qualify for the one-time $900 provincial emergency fund as of March 30. They must be in a position in which they cannot access money through student loans, Employment Insurance, personal savings, or other COVID-19 related financial assistance programs.

Parks

All provincial parks as well as playgrounds provincewide are closed.

Higgs said today that if municipalities are going to keep their parks and trails open, they must have mechanisms in place to ensure that the limitations on the number of people that can gather is enforced.

“Appropriate signage must be put up at access points to identify limitations on gatherings and the requirements for physical distancing,” said Higgs. “If a municipality cannot monitor usage of their premises, they should be closed.”

Landlords and tenants

Higgs clarified confusion that has arisen around the state of emergency and how it impacts tenants.

The mandatory order under the Emergency Measures Act suspends the right for landlords to evict tenants for non-payment of rent, through to May 31.

“People can still be evicted,” said Higgs. However, the reason for the eviction cannot be that they are unable to pay their rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All other tenant obligations remain.”

If somebody is unable to pay their rent, they must discuss the matter with their landlord and make the appropriate arrangements for payment.

Up-to-date information about COVID-19 is available online.

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