Public Heath reported seven new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday.

The four cases in Zone 2 (Saint John region) are as follows:

  • one individual 19 and under;
  • one individual 20-29; and
  • two people 50-59.

The three cases in Zone 3 (Fredericton region) are as follows:

  • one individual 19 and under;
  • one individual 50-59; and
  • one individual 60-69.

All of these cases are self-isolating and under investigation.

The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 508 and 385 have recovered. There have been seven deaths, and the number of active cases is 116 with none in the hospital. As of today, 126,678 tests have been conducted.

“We are making strides toward returning Zones 1, 2 and 3 to the Yellow level of recovery, but we are not there yet,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “If we all remain vigilant and do our best to keep COVID-19 from spreading, I am confident we can achieve this goal.”

Super-spreader event

Public Health has determined that a single event in the Saint John area, held at two venues over a single evening, is the source of more than 80 per cent of recent cases in Zone 2. An individual who was asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic attended an event, which has resulted in 60 direct and indirect confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Dr. Russell said the event illustrates the importance of masking and maintaining physical distance at all times when in public.

“While we do not yet know all the circumstances of this event, we do know there are things each of us can do to limit the spread of the virus,” said Russell. “It is not possible to know who is carrying the virus, so it is best to assume at all times that everyone around you is infected and act accordingly by maintaining physical distance and wearing a mask indoors and outdoors.”

Community transmission

Contact tracing by Public Health has determined linkages among the vast majority of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province. Community transmission, where there is no defined link between a new case and existing cases in the area, is relatively rare, comprising just three per cent of confirmed cases in New Brunswick to date. The majority of cases initially listed as under investigation are later determined to be linked to a previously reported infection.

Reminders for schools in Orange zones

In zones under the Orange alert level, extracurricular activities, including interscholastic and extramural sports, will be limited to skills and drills practices within one team. Teams in all regions are reminded to be vigilant in screening participants prior to any event, including games and practices. Rosters and lists of participants must also be kept. Physical education classes should focus on activities that allow for physical distancing, such as yoga, dancing and moderate walking.

“I know this is quite disappointing for many students and their families,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy. “Our plans have been based on the best evidence and information currently available. Unfortunately, at this time it would not be prudent for competitive sporting events to continue but we strongly encourage students and families to use every avenue open to them to stay active and healthy.”

With only a few, specified exceptions, staff and students of all ages need to wear a mask at all times in school and while on school buses. Masks may be removed when students are eating, drinking, or engaged in sports or physical education classes. In addition, students in kindergarten to Grade 8 can remove their mask if they are working silently at their desk.

No singing or use of wind instruments is allowed while in the Orange level. More information is available on the Return to School website.

Exposure notifications

Public Health follows a standard process when addressing instances where the public may have been exposed to a case of COVID-19. In cases where record-keeping is able to identify anyone who may have been exposed, officials contact these individuals directly and do not issue a separate announcement. In cases where officials cannot be certain of exactly who may have been exposed to the virus in a given location, Public Health issues an announcement to alert those who could have been affected and provide instructions.

Public Health has identified potential public exposure to the virus at the following locations in Zone 2:

  • Cask and Kettle on Nov. 17 between 8 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. (112 Prince William St., Saint John);
  • Churchill’s Pub on Nov. 20 between 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. (8 Grannan St., Saint John).
  • Picaroons on Nov. 21 between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. (30 Canterbury St., Saint John).
  • Thandi’s Restaurant on Nov. 21 between 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. (33 Canterbury St., Saint John).

If you were at any of these locations, and you have no symptoms of COVID-19, self monitor and follow all Public Health guidelines. If you are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 and do not need to talk to a nurse, complete the self-assessment and get tested.

Avoid visiting settings with vulnerable populations such as nursing homes, correctional facilities, and shelters over the next 14 days. Wash your hands frequently.

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