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HALIFAX – New Brunswick will return to a state of emergency as the province continues to fight the growing fourth wave of COVID-19, authorities announced Friday.

“The situation we are currently facing in New Brunswick is really dire. That is why, following the advice of public health, the cabinet is restoring the state of emergency and introducing a mandatory order as of 11:59 pm tonight, “said Prime Minister Blaine Higgs.

During the news update on Friday, Higgs announced that the following restrictions would be implemented starting at 11:59 pm on Friday.

All previously announced public health measures remain in effect. The following additional measures will be implemented under the mandatory order:

  • People should limit their contacts to their home plus 20 consistent contacts.

  • Indoor private meetings will be limited to 20 consistent contacts.

  • There will be no limits to outdoor gatherings, as long as physical detachment is maintained.

  • Businesses and events where people gather or exercise, including museums, cinemas, theaters, bingo halls, casinos, entertainment centers, stadiums, game rooms, pool halls, live entertainment venues, weddings, funerals, Gyms, yoga studios and similar venues must ensure all employees are fully vaccinated or continuously masked and screened regularly. Sponsors and participants entering such events must be fully vaccinated.

  • Physical distancing is required in businesses, services, or events where proof of vaccination is not required, such as supermarkets and retail stores, private businesses, and libraries.

Places of Faith have the option of ensuring that all participants show proof of complete vaccination or implement the following measures:

  • operate at 50 percent of its capacity;

  • maintain physical distancing;

  • ensure continued use of the mask;

  • record the names of all attendees or have assigned seats;

  • eliminate the singing of services; and

  • Prevent people with COVID-19 symptoms and people who have been instructed to self-isolate from entering.

“It is regrettable to return to the state of emergency, however it is necessary,” Higgs said. “We need to stop the spread of COVID-19 and make sure the number of hospitalizations does not continue to rise.”

Higgs also announced that in the future, the province will return to the state of emergency any time there are more than 25 people hospitalized in the province.

“We must do this because of the stress that this number of hospitalizations places on our health care system. As hospitalizations decline, the mandatory order and public health measures will remain in effect to ensure that our hospitalizations stabilize, ”Higgs said.

Higgs said there are currently 31 people in the hospital, with 15 patients in an intensive care unit. Of the 31 patients, 27 or 87 percent are not fully vaccinated.

“We knew there would be more COVID-19 cases after the mandatory order was lifted in late July. But the pace of this fourth wave is beyond what we had anticipated, ”added Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick’s chief medical officer for health, during Friday’s news update.

Russell says that over the past week the province had averaged 67 new cases per day, with hospitalizations increasing by an average of one patient per day.

“It is clear that our current situation is very serious,” Russell said. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have acted to protect the people of New Brunswick. We have also acted to preserve the health care system that we all depend on. We have not hesitated to take measures to limit the spread of this virus, and we will not hesitate now. “

THREE DEATHS, 78 NEW CASES FRIDAY

Health officials in New Brunswick reported three COVID-19-related deaths on Friday, bringing the total number of people who have died as a result of the virus to 52.

During Friday’s news update, Dr. Jennifer Russell announced that a person in their 70s from the Moncton region, a person in their 80s from the Moncton region, and a person in their 90s from the Moncton region Edmundston had died.

Russell also announced a single-day record of 78 new cases on Friday, along with 76 recoveries, as the active number of cases in the province rises to 573.

“If you are still not vaccinated, you may think that this disease will not affect you because of your age or current health. But the greatest risk affects us all equally, and that is the risk that COVID-19 presents to our healthcare system, ”Russell said.

During a technical briefing on Friday, Horizon Health Network’s top infectious disease specialist said the province was wrong when the decision was made to lift all health protection measures on July 30.

“All of us in this room at the moment, with the evidence of this rapid rise in the Delta virus in the province, we will all agree that it was not the right decision,” said Dr. Gordon Dow during the technical briefing. Friday.

“Many other jurisdictions made the same mistake. Alberta made the mistake, except it did it a month before us. Saskatchewan made the mistake. America made the mistake. The United Kingdom made the mistake. There were a lot of mistakes made.”

Dow says the province’s top health officials can agree that it was a mistake to lift all restrictions when at the time there was plenty of evidence suggesting that the rapid spread of the highly contagious Delta variant would engulf the province in the fall.

New Brunswick has recorded 866 cases this month, nearly a quarter of the total reported since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

The province’s lead COVID-19 epidemiologist said each case recorded in September generated an average of 1.5 additional cases.

Dr. Mathieu Chalifoux also said that more than 85 percent of the cases in September have been linked to the Delta variant.

COVID-19 CASE DATA

New Brunswick has had 3,707 cumulative cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

In total, 3,081 people have recovered and 52 people have died in the province from COVID-19.

Public health says a total of 448,802 COVID-19 tests have been processed since the start of the pandemic.

The number of cases is broken down by New Brunswick’s seven health zones:

  • Zone 1 – Moncton Region: 978 confirmed cases (137 active cases)

  • Zone 2 – San Juan Region: 371 confirmed cases (30 active cases)

  • Zone 3 – Fredericton Region: 776 confirmed cases (187 active cases)

  • Zone 4 – Edmundston Region: 925 confirmed cases (97 active cases)

  • Zone 5 – Campbellton Region: 376 confirmed cases (89 active cases)

  • Zone 6 – Bathurst Region: 190 confirmed cases (21 active cases)

  • Zone 7 – Miramichi Region: 91 confirmed cases (12 active cases)

IMMUNIZATION UPDATE

As of Thursday, 78.6 percent of New Brunswick residents age 12 and older were fully vaccinated and 87.4 percent had received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

In all, 1,155,893 doses of vaccines have been administered in New Brunswick.

All eligible New Brunswick residents can book their second dose appointments now for a date that is at least 28 days after the first dose.

POSSIBLE PUBLIC EXHIBITIONS

Anyone with symptoms of the virus, as well as anyone who has been to the site of a possible public exposure, should request a test online or call Tele-Care at 811 to schedule an appointment.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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