FREDERICTON (GNB) – Three confirmed cases of the COVID-19 United Kingdom variant have been identified in New Brunswick.

“Today’s news further reinforces the need for New Brunswickers to stay home as much as possible and continue to follow all public health advice,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “These new variants are more contagious, so it is important that we take the necessary precautions now to reduce the transmission of the virus and any of its variants in our communities.”

The Dr. Georges-L-Dumont University Hospital Centre’s microbiology laboratory in Moncton confirmed that three samples sent from New Brunswick to Winnipeg’s National Microbiology Laboratory in January are COVID-19 U.K. variant cases. Two of the cases are related to travel outside of Canada and the other case is related to travel to another Canadian jurisdiction. The cases were reported in Zone 2 (Saint John region) and Zone 7 (Miramichi region). All three individuals have been informed and have already been in self-isolation.

“Each and every time someone travels, for whatever reason, there is a risk of bringing COVID-19 into New Brunswick,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. “But there is a greater danger out there for our entire province with these new variants and measures must be taken to mitigate the increased risk.”

Further information about COVID-19 variants is available online.

25 new cases

Public Health reported 25 new cases of COVID-19 today.

The one case in Zone 1 (Moncton region) is as follows:

  • an individual 19 and under.

The 24 cases in Zone 4 (Edmundston region) are as follows:

  • two people 20-29;
  • three people 30-39;
  • four people 40-49;
  • four people 50-59;
  • three people 60-69;
  • two people 70-79;
  • five people 80-89; and
  • an individual 90 and over.

The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 1,288. Since yesterday, 30 people have recovered for a total of 1,002 recoveries. There have been 18 deaths, and the number of active cases is 267. Two patients are hospitalized, and both are in intensive care. Yesterday, 2,123 tests were conducted for a total of 203,290.

Outbreaks in Zone 4

Follow-up testing at Villa des Jardins, a nursing home in Edmundston, has detected 19 new cases of COVID-19. The cases are included in today’s overall case count for Zone 4 and include 10 residents and nine staff and support workers. Another round of mass testing will take place later this week. The total number of confirmed cases at Villa des Jardins is 32.

Public Health is awaiting results from Monday’s follow-up testing of residents and staff of Manoir Belle Vue in Edmundston. There are presently 55 confirmed COVID-19 cases at Manoir Belle Vue.

Relief for small businesses

Applications are now available for the NB Small Business Recovery Grant. Through Opportunities New Brunswick, these grants of up to $5,000 are available for small businesses that have been subject to Orange or Red alert level measures for at least one week between Oct. 10, 2020, and March 31, 2021. This new support program is in addition to the enhancements being made to the Small Business Emergency Working Capital Program that resulted in more than $17 million being distributed to businesses throughout the province.

For more information on eligibility and how to apply, contact the Opportunities New Brunswick Business Navigators at nav@navnb.ca or 1-833-799-7966.

In addition, a list of federal and provincial programs for businesses navigating through relief and recovery is available online.

Exposure notification

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 provides instructions.

On Feb. 2, Public Health identified a positive case in a traveller who may have been infectious on Jan. 9 while on the following flight:

  • Air Canada Flight 8918 – from Toronto to Moncton departed at 8:30 a.m.

Reminder of Red and Orange levels and lockdown rules

Zone 1 (Moncton region) is at the Red level and Zone 4 (Edmundston region) remains in lockdown.

All other zones remain in the Orange level under the province’s mandatory order.