FREDERICTON (GNB) – All pregnant women in New Brunswick are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine regardless of whether they have any other medical conditions.

“Recent events in other jurisdictions have highlighted the risks of COVID-19 infection for pregnant women, possibly potentiated by the spread of variant strains,’ said Dr. Jennifer Russell, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “Pregnant women who have COVID-19 appear to be more likely to develop respiratory complications requiring intensive care, and require ventilation, compared to non-pregnant women.”

Prior to today, Public Health prioritized pregnant women with two or more chronic medical conditions for vaccination, given the evidence that severe morbidity from COVID-19 appeared to be greater in women with such risk factors.

Pregnant women can now schedule an appointment to receive their vaccine at a Horizon Health Network or Vitalité Health Network community clinic by registering online. If they are unable to book an appointment online, they can call 1-833-437-1424.

One death

Public Health confirmed today that an individual between 60 and 69 in Zone 2 (Saint John region) has died as a result of COVID-19. This brings the total number of COVID-related deaths in the province to 34.

“I am saddened to learn that another individual has lost their life as a result of COVID-19,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard. “On behalf of all New Brunswickers, I share my sincere condolences with the family and friends of this person.”

“I wish to send my deepest sympathies to the loved ones of this person during this incredibly difficult time,” said Russell. “This death is a tragic reminder that COVID-19 is still all around us, and we must all continue to take precautions and follow the guidance of Public Health to slow the spread of the virus.”

Seven new cases

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

The one case in Zone 1 (Moncton region) is an individual 20-29. This case is travel related.

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

  • an individual 50-59; and
  • an individual 90 and over.

Both of these cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

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

  • an individual 19 and under;
  • an individual 40-49; and
  • an individual 50-59.

Two of the three cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases and the other one is under investigation.

The one case in Zone 7 (Miramichi region) is an individual 40-49. This case is travel related.

The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 1,804. Since yesterday, seven people have recovered for a total of 1,631 recoveries. There have been 34 deaths, and the number of active cases is 138. Fifteen patients are hospitalized, including five in an intensive care unit. Yesterday, 1,005 tests were conducted for a total of 278,711.

Possible exposure at child-care facility

A possible exposure to a positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at Garderie Happy Feet Daycare, in Grand Falls, and families who have been affected have been notified. If you or a family member have been in close contact with a case, you will be notified by Public Health for contact tracing. If you do not hear directly from Public Health, you have not been identified as a close contact.

Outbreaks declared at two facilities

Public Health has declared outbreaks at two special care homes today following a confirmed case of COVID-19 at each facility.

Members of the Provincial Rapid Outbreak Management Team have been sent to provide support for residents and the facility’s care team at Pavillon Beau-Lieu, a special care home in Grand Falls, in Zone 4 (Edmundston region) and Murray Street Lodge in Grand Bay-Westfield in Zone 2 (Saint John region).

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.

Public Health has identified potential public exposures to the virus at the following locations:

  • E.& P. Sénéchal Center (Vitalité Health Network vaccination clinic) at 60 Ouellette St., Grand Falls, on Monday, April 19 between1:15 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Holy Spirit Parish (Saint Matthews worship site) at 45 Dollard Dr., Saint John, on Sunday, April 18 between 11 a.m. and noon.

Reminder of lockdown, Orange and Yellow levels

A section of Zone 4, including Edmundston and the upper Madawaska region, is in lockdown as per the province’s mandatory order. A detailed list of lockdown restrictions, including what can remain open and what must close, is available online.

The communities of Saint-Léonard, Grand Falls, Drummond, New Denmark and Four Falls are in the Orange level.

All other zones and communities in the province, including the Saint-Quentin and Kedgwick regions in Zone 4, remain in the Yellow level.

No travel is permitted in and out of the lockdown area or within the lockdown area except when necessary, such as for vaccinations, medical appointments, work or to purchase essential goods. No travel is recommended in or out of areas in the Orange level. This recommendation includes no travel to sporting or entertainment events in other zones. Travel among Yellow level areas is permitted.