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11 More COVID Deaths Reported, New Hospitalizations Increase

By Brad Perry Jan 24, 2023 | 2:00 PM

New Brunswick has confirmed 11 more COVID-related deaths in its latest weekly report, bringing the total to 773.

But Public Health said most of the deaths actually happened weeks ago, and have only just been confirmed due to a “lag in reporting.”

Seven of the deaths occurred between Dec. 11 and 23, according to a graph provided by the province. The other four deaths happened between Dec. 30 and Jan. 3.

“Deaths are subject to a lag in reporting,” said the report, noting it takes an average of two months from the date of death and receiving the registration of death form.

All of the newly-confirmed deaths involved people aged 70 and over, according to Public Health.

Hospitalizations and ICU admissions

The virus sent 17 more people to the hospital between Jan. 15 and 21, including four to an intensive care unit.

Of those admitted, four patients were between the ages of 60 and 69 and 13 were aged 70 or older.

During the previous week, there were 14 new admissions to the hospital, including two to an ICU.

“Since August 28, 2022, the rate of hospitalizations is highest among those aged 70 years and older,” said the weekly report.

As part of recent reporting changes, Public Health no longer includes information on how many people are currently in the hospital because of COVID-19.

However, the two regional health authorities reported 94 people in the hospital as of Jan. 21 (down from 107 a week earlier) and six in intensive care (up from one).

  • Horizon Health: 79 active admissions and four in intensive care, compared to 95 active admissions and one in intensive care one week earlier.
  • Vitalité Health: 15 active admissions and two in intensive care, compared to 12 active admissions and no one in intensive care one week earlier.

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 the hotspot for new cases

A total of 482 positive cases were reported over the past week, including 321 positive PCR tests and 161 rapid tests.  That was down from 555 reported positive cases the previous week.

The Moncton Health region, Zone 1, is the hotspot with 135 cases, accounting for 28 per cent of the total case count.

The Fredericton health region (Zone 3) recorded 24 per cent of the new cases, followed by the Saint John health region (Zone 2) with 23 per cent.

Amongst the most recent random samples sequenced, 94 per cent were the BA.5 variant, three per cent were XBB, two per cent were BA.2, and one per cent was BA.4.“other”.

Vaccine doses

In terms of vaccinations, the Department of Health says 658 doses were given out over the past week, including 74 first doses, 86 second doses, 178 first booster doses, and 320 second booster doses.

A total of 85.8 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers have received two doses, 54.6 per cent have received a booster shot, and 29.4 per cent have received their second booster.

According to the two health authorities, 61 health care workers were off the job for COVID-related reasons as of Saturday, compared to 98 health care workers a week earlier.


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