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COVID Hospitalizations Increase In N.B.

By Brad Perry Dec 20, 2022 | 1:59 PM

New Brunswick is reporting eight more deaths linked to COVID-19 in its latest weekly report.

But the updated report no longer provides a weekly breakdown of the ages of those who died.

Previous reports indicated the number of deaths in each age group — both from the past week and since the pandemic began — in increments of 10 years.

But the new template only shows the total number of deaths since Aug. 28, the start of the current respiratory virus season, without indicating how many deaths were reported in the past week.

It also breaks down the deaths into three age groups: under 50 years old, 50 to 69 years old, and 70 years and older.

There have now been 722 deaths attributed to the virus in New Brunswick since the pandemic began, according to the province.

Hospitalizations and ICU admissions

The number of new and active hospital admissions related to COVID-19 increased last week.

Public Health said there were 31 new hospital admissions for the week ending Saturday, Dec. 17, up from 29 the previous week.

There were three new admissions to the province’s intensive care units compared to none in the previous two weeks.

As part of changes to the report, Public Health no longer includes information on how many people were in the hospital because of COVID-19.

However, the two regional health authorities reported 140 people in the hospital as of Dec. 17 (up from 130 a week earlier) and six in intensive care (down from seven).

  • Horizon Health: 91 active admissions and three in intensive care, compared to 85 active admissions and five in intensive care one week ago.
  • Vitalité Health: 49 active admissions and three in intensive care, compared to 45 active admissions and two in intensive care one week ago.

Unlike the provincial data, which only accounts for those who are admitted to the hospital for COVID-19, the regional health authorities also include the number of patients who are initially admitted for another reason and later test positive for the virus.

Moncton region remains hotspot for new cases

A total of 981 positive cases were reported over the past week, including 647 positive PCR tests and 334 rapid tests. That was down from 1,247 reported positive cases the previous week.

The Moncton health region, Zone 1, continues to be the hotspot with 312 new cases, accounting for nearly 32 per cent of last week’s total case count.

The Fredericton health region (Zone 3) and the Saint John health region (Zone 2) each recorded nearly 22 per cent of the new cases.

Amongst the most recent random samples sequenced, five per cent were BA.4 variant and 95 per cent were BA.5.

Vaccine doses

In terms of vaccinations, the Department of Health says 3,018 doses were given out over the past week, including 147 first doses, 162 second doses, 321 first booster doses, and 2,388 second booster doses.

A total of 85.7 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers have received two doses, 54.4 per cent have received a booster shot, and 28.4 per cent have received their second booster.

According to the two health authorities, 147 health care workers were off the job for COVID-related reasons as of Saturday, up from 144 workers one week earlier.


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