Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 in New Brunswick set a new record for two consecutive days.
Public health reports 80 people hospitalized on Saturday, against 11 compared to Friday.
Seventeen people are in intensive care and 11 are on ventilators.
One new death has been reported.
There are 421 new cases of COVID-19 based on PCR lab tests, which are reserved for vulnerable populations. With more than 2,300 tests performed, the positivity rate is 17.9%.
As of Saturday, new PCR-confirmed cases and “other data updates” will only be available on the province’s COVID-19 dashboard and will not be included in future press releases, announced Public Health earlier this week.
Booster doses available to all adults from Monday
New Brunswickers who received their second dose at least five months ago and are 18 years of age or older will be able to receive their booster dose as of Monday.
The announcement was made yesterday at a press conference attended by Minister of Health Dorothy Shephard and Dr. Jennifer Russell, Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Pregnant women were also immediately eligible for their boosters.
As hospitalizations increase and cases remain high in the province, Russell urged the public to get vaccinated.
âIn the coming weeks, it is likely that the healthcare system will be tested like never before,â Shephard said during the briefing.
While the province chose not to upgrade to the more restrictive Level 3 winter plan, Russell said that couldn’t be ruled out.
Shephard said the province will not hesitate to upgrade to Level 3 if it deems it “necessary” and if public health supports the move.
Below level 3, social gatherings would be limited to single-family bubbles, no public gatherings would be allowed, restaurants would be take-out only; non-essential retail would be reduced to contactless pickup or delivery only; gymnasiums, lounges and entertainment centers would be closed and religious services would only be allowed outdoors or virtually.
Outbreak at Edmundston Hospital
Thirty employees, including four doctors, have tested positive at the Edmundston Regional Hospital and are in isolation, according to Dr. John Tobin, who heads the family medicine department.
“The teams are very tense,” Tobin said in an interview with Radio-Canada on Saturday.
However, he said the situation is stable. âWe are still able to operate with what we currently have,â he said.
According to Tobin, 16 people are in the hospital’s COVID-19 unit, three of them on ventilators.
Hospital admissions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, VitalitÃ© Health Network said on Friday.
Patients with appointments can show up at the hospital on time and on the day scheduled, according to the press release. VitalitÃ© will contact patients whose appointments need to be rescheduled.
The emergency room remains open, but people are urged to limit their visits to urgent cases.