The death toll from COVID-19 reaches 825, about 1 per 1,000 New Brunswickers

The newly confirmed deaths occurred in December and affect people aged 70 and older.  (Evan Mitsui/CBC - photo credit)

The newly confirmed deaths occurred in December and affect people aged 70 and older. (Evan Mitsui/CBC – photo credit)

According to the latest figures from the Department of Health, COVID-19 has killed about one in 1,000 New Brunswickers.

New Brunswick on Wednesday reported three more deaths from COVID-19, bringing the pandemic deaths to 825.

According to Statistics Canada, the province currently has a population of around 824,500.

The three new deaths happened in December, according to the COVIDWatch report. Deaths are subject to an average delay of two months from the date of death to the registration of the death, the report said.

All three people were over 70 years old.

Hospital admissions double

Hospital admissions for the virus doubled to 20 between February 12 and 18.

The number of people admitted to the intensive care unit fell from three to one.

The province no longer reports the number of people currently hospitalized, but the two regional health authorities say they have 76 people hospitalized either for or with COVID as of Saturday, 10 of whom require critical care.

That’s up from 66, or six, a week ago.

Healthcare networks Horizon and Vitalité both recently halted routine COVID-19 testing of most hospitalized patients. With a few exceptions, only patients with symptoms of the virus are tested.

Among the new admissions reported by the province is one person under 20 – the youngest age category now provided under the reporting format changes introduced in December.

Four people are between 20 and 59 years old, two are between 60 and 69 years old and 13 are 70 years or older.

New cases, positivity “relatively stable”

The number of new laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID and percentage positivity have remained “relatively stable” over the past week, according to the COVIDWatch report.

A total of 350 new cases were confirmed by a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) laboratory test, up from 379 in the previous report.

2,213 tests were conducted, giving a positivity rate of 15.8 percent versus nearly 17 percent.

According to the Ministry of Health, another 175 people said they had tested positive in a rapid test. That’s an increase from 148.

Of the 92 random samples sent for genetic sequencing between January 30 and February 7, 24 percent were XBB, an offshoot of the Omicron BA.2 subvariant. The report does not yet include a more detailed breakdown of sublineages such as XBB.1.5, which the World Health Organization calls “the most transferrable” subvariant.

As of last week, 88 cases of XBB.1.5 have been confirmed since it was first detected in the province in January.

Horizon, Vitalité Hospitalizations

Horizon Health Network has 55 active COVID-19 hospitalized patients, including nine in intensive care, the COVID dashboard shows. That’s up from 47 or four a week earlier.

The Fredericton region, zone 3, now has the most cases with 25, followed by the Saint John region, zone 2, with 16, the Moncton region, zone 1, with nine, and the Miramichi region, zone 7, with five.

Vitalité Health Network has 21 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, up from 19 including one in intensive care, down from two, according to its COVID dashboard.

Fourteen of the patients are at Campbellton Regional Hospital in the Campbellton area, zone 5. Six patients are in the Bathurst area, zone 6, including five at Tracadie Hospital and one at Chaleur Regional Hospital. the dr Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Center in Moncton, Zone 1 has the one patient in the ICU.

Infected healthcare workers down 41%

Health worker absenteeism due to COVID-19 has dropped from 95 to 56 in the past week.

Horizon has 27 employees out of work after testing positive for the virus (out of 60), while Vitalité has 29 (out of 35).

There are COVID-19 outbreaks in four Horizon hospital units, half the number reported a week ago. No specifics are given, but two of these are in the Fredericton region, while the Moncton and Saint John regions have one each, the dashboard reveals.

Vitalite has two outbreaks, fewer than three. Both are ongoing outbreaks at Campbellton Regional Hospital – in the medical department and in the medical-surgical department.


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