FREDERICTON (GNB) – Testing criteria for COVID-19 in New Brunswick is being expanded.

“We continue to be focused on testing the right people, at the right time,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “Travel outside New Brunswick will no longer be the key determinant in referring people for testing. However, an assessment is still required through 811 or an individual’s primary health-care provider.”

Testing will continue to focus upon the protection of health-care workers, patients in hospitals and nursing homes, as well as first responders. Priority will also be given to testing those who may be more vulnerable to the disease, including people over 60 and people with hypertension, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes, or cancer.

Two new cases

Testing at the microbiology laboratory at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton has identified two new cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick to 105.

Of the 105 cases, 59 are travel-related, 33 are close contacts of confirmed cases, six cases are from community transmission and seven cases remain under investigation.

Ten patients were hospitalized, but three have since been discharged. Seven patients remain in hospital, with four in an intensive care unit.

To date, 39 people have recovered.

The new cases are:

  • An individual aged 10-19 in Zone 3 (Fredericton region)
  • An individual aged 70-79 in Zone 7 (Miramichi region)

“COVID-19 can strike anyone, of any age, in any community in our province,” said Russell. “That is why it remains vital that every New Brunswicker stay at home as much as possible. When people go out, they should keep their interactions brief and maintain six feet of physical distance between themselves and others.”

Loans for working capital now available

Small, medium and large employers in New Brunswick whose businesses have been impacted by COVID-19 can now apply to the provincial government for loans for working capital.

“We understand that this pandemic is impacting New Brunswick business,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. “We acted swiftly to address the needs of the business community and support these employers during this challenging time.”

The new loans are to support New Brunswick-based companies. A total of $50 million has been allocated for two distinct loan programs for working capital.

Businesses can access more information about the application processes on a dedicated web page which features frequently asked questions and online resources.

Deadline approaching for applications for income benefit

Applications for the New Brunswick Workers Emergency Income Benefit will end at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 9. The one-time $900 benefit was created to help to bridge the time between when people lose their employment or close their business to when they receive their federal benefit.

“This benefit has provided some much-needed relief,” said Higgs. “Helping workers and self-employed people with their immediate needs will keep us on a trajectory that will bring prosperity back to New Brunswick.”

More than 60,000 applicants have registered for the benefit. To date the provincial government has provided more than $20 million in benefit payments.

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

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