On Tuesday, January 19, the Government of New Brunswick announced that Zones 1, 2, and 3 would be moving into the Red phase of the COVID-19 recovery plan as of midnight.
Zone 1 (Moncton region) reported four new cases, Zone 2 (Saint John region) reported three new cases, and Zone 3 (Fredericton region) reported one new case. One death was also reported today in Zone 2, a resident aged 80-89 of Parkland Saint John. A case was identified at Princess Elizabeth School in Saint John, though most of the students returned today for in-person learning.
Zones 5, 6, and 7 at this time are remaining at the Orange level, with Zone 4 (Edmunston region) remaining in Red, with 24 cases reported in the region today.
Differences between Orange and Red
The Red level of recovery has a few changes from the Orange level:
-Outdoor gatherings are now limited to five people or less;
-Restaurants may only have drive-thru and takeout;
-Gyms, entertainment centres, and salons/spas are closed;
-Faith venues may only have outdoor (drive-in) services;
-Organized sports are no longer permitted;
-K-12 schools and daycares may remain open with strict public health measures enforced.
Higgs: “This is a critical moment”
Premier Blaine Higgs made a statement at the press conference emphasizing the importance of adhering to the regulations of the Red level to avoid going into lockdown as was done at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. No details have been released yet as to what regulations a lockdown would entail.
Statement from UNB
Later in the day, UNB released a statement via email outlining how Red level will affect studies at the university.
Though in-person classes are still allowed to take place, it is only for classes that have in-person requirements such as labs and practicums. All other courses that are able to be virtual are required to switch to alternate delivery if they are not already being delivered in this format. Residences and libraries can remain open.
COVID-19 cases in Atlantic Canada
As of today, there have been 1004 cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick, with 674 recoveries, and 13 deaths. There are currently 316 active cases, with 31 cases being reported today.
Elsewhere in Atlantic Canada, Prince Edward Island reported two new cases today, Nova Scotia reported four new cases, and Newfoundland had no new cases to report.