NB COVID-19 numbers jump, 16 new deaths reported in weekly update

New Brunswick has recorded 16 new COVID-related deaths and an increase in hospital admissions over seven days, figures released on the county’s COVID-19 dashboard show on Tuesday.

Asked about the increase in numbers, the province’s chief medical officer said it was part of the “bump” she and her team expected when they made the recommendation to end all restrictions from 14 March.

“We had lifted the mandatory order just around the time the March break took place,” Drs. Jennifer Russell to CBC News Tuesday morning.

“And so we knew that between the combination of people traveling and the mandatory order being lifted, our modeling showed that we would see a bump in cases and hospitalizations.”

The 16 new deaths and the 30 new hospital admissions, for a total of 129 admissions, took place in the days between 13 and 19 March.

The figures were released on the provincial COVID-19 dashboard Tuesday morning, in line with the shift to deliver COVID-19 updates once a week as part of the lifting of all restrictions.

The new deaths bring the province’s total to 336 since the beginning of the pandemic.

The province marks 16 deaths in one week, 30 more hospitalizations

The figures come a week after New Brunswick lifted all COVID-19 measures, including indoor masking and all collection restrictions. 2:01

Bumps in hospital admissions contradict modeling

The number of people currently in the hospital is the highest it has been since the second week of February, when the province went from level 2 to level 1 in its COVID-19 winter plan.

It is also higher than what the province said it expected to see in mid-March.

According to a graph provided by the Ministry of Health in February and continues to share as its most up-to-date model, hospital admissions were expected to be down to around 50 now.

This graph was published at a press conference on February 9, describing the landscape and the expected trajectories of COVID-19. The Ministry of Health goes on to present it as its most accurate modeling of hospital admissions related to COVID-19. (New Brunswick Government)

On Tuesday, Russell seemed to ignore that graph.

“We knew the case was over [in hospitals] would be around 100. So … we were expecting a bump, “she said.

“You can not make all the changes and do not expect that there is any effect on the population in relation to case numbers and admissions.

“But what we have in mind, and we want the public to keep in mind, is that number one, in terms of vulnerable environments like hospitals, is still in the red phase in terms of protecting patients and staff. long-term care facilities also still have measures in place. “

16 people in intensive care

Of the 129 people in the hospital with COVID-19, 58 tested positive after being admitted for another reason, while 71 were admitted due to COVID-19.

There are 16 people on intensive care, an increase of three since last week’s update. Four of these patients were admitted for something other than COVID-19, while 12 were admitted due to COVID-19, according to the dashboard.

A total of five people are on a respirator, which has dropped from seven the week before.

The total hospital capacity is 91 per cent, while the occupancy rate in intensive care units is 62 per cent.

A total of 490 healthcare workers isolate themselves after being tested positive for COVID-19, of which 241 are employees of Horizon Health Network, 186 with Vitalité Health Network and 63 with either Extra-mural or Ambulance New Brunswick.

Distribution of new deaths

The 16 COVID-related deaths announced Tuesday occurred in six of the province’s seven zones, including five in Zone 1, Moncton region, four were in Zone 2, Saint John region, one in Zone 3, Fredericton region , one in Zone 5, Campbellton region, four in Zone 6, Bathurst region and one in Zone 7, Miramichi region.

Moncton Region, Zone 1

  • One person in the 60s, two people in the 70s and two people in the 80s

Saint John region, zone 2

  • Two people in the 60s and two in the 70s

Fredericton Region, Zone 3

Campbellton Region, Zone 5

Bathurst Region, Zone 6

  • One person each in their 40s, 70s, 80s and over 90s

Miramichi Region, Zone 7

5,922 new cases

There were 2,781 new cases registered through PCR testing, with 3,141 new cases registered by individuals using home test kits from March 13-19.

The regional breakdown of the PCR-confirmed cases includes:

Moncton Region, Zone 1

Saint John region, zone 2

Fredericton Region, Zone 3

Edmundston Region, Zone 4

Campbellton Region, Zone 5

Bathurst Region, Zone 6

Miramichi Region, Zone 7

Nursing homes try to balance protection and freedom

Nursing homes in the county have set up a working group with the Department of Social Development to determine how best to protect residents while at the same time letting them see their loved ones, said Michael Keating, interim executive director of the New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes.

But with COVID-19 still spreading, achieving that balance remains a challenge, he said.

“If you let someone in who is unvaccinated and brings[s] in COVID, it not only affects the person they are visiting, “Keating said, speaking further Information Tomorrow Saint John.

“Because if we look at this latest Omicron [wave], it just flies through the nursing home in terms of infections. So we have to find a way that people can still visit. “

Although restrictions on the general public have been lifted, long-term care homes continue to follow public health guidelines to protect the vulnerable, including wearing masks and isolating the sick.

The Ministry of Health has said that visitors are required to wear a mask but they can remove their mask when they are in the resident’s room at the resident’s discretion.

Throughout the pandemic, the province has also financially assisted long-term care homes that were facing outbreaks.

However, this assistance has begun to be reduced and the province has told long-term care homes that it will reconsider by 30 April whether any support will remain in place.

Keating said his association continues to advocate for some forms of support to continue, as dealing with outbreaks has financial implications for nursing homes.

Keating said no nursing home has yet been affected by the removal of support.

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