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Eight More COVID Deaths, Hospitalizations Down

By Brad Perry Jan 31, 2023 | 2:24 PM

New Brunswick has confirmed eight more COVID-related deaths in its latest weekly report, bringing the total to 781.

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

Six of the deaths occurred between Jan. 5 and 13, according to a graph provided by the province. One death happened on Dec. 30 while the other occurred on Oct. 4.

“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.

Most of the newly-confirmed deaths involved people aged 70 and over, according to Public Health. One involved a person between the ages of 50 and 69.

Hospitalizations and ICU admissions

The virus sent 12 more people to the hospital between Jan. 22 and 28, including one to an intensive care unit.

Of those admitted, three were under the age of 20, one was between the ages of 20 and 59, one was 60 to 69 years old, and seven were aged 70 and older.

During the previous week, there were 17 new admissions to the hospital, including four 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 63 people in the hospital as of Jan. 28 (down from 94 a week earlier) and nine in intensive care (up from six).

  • Horizon Health: 57 active admissions and six in intensive care, compared to 79 active admissions and four in intensive care one week earlier.
  • Vitalité Health: six active admissions and three in intensive care, compared to 15 active admissions and two 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 408 positive cases were reported over the past week, including 263 positive PCR tests and 145 self-reported rapid tests. That was down from 482 reported positive cases the previous week.

The Moncton Health region, Zone 1, is the hotspot with 116 cases, accounting for 28 per cent of the total case count.

The Fredericton health region (Zone 3) recorded 26 per cent of the new cases, followed by the Saint John health region (Zone 2) with 22 per cent.

Amongst the most recent random samples sequenced, 87 per cent were the BA.5 variant, 10 per cent were XBB, and three per cent were BA.2.

Vaccine doses

In terms of vaccinations, the Department of Health says 854 doses were given out over the past week, including 65 first doses, 62 second doses, 126 first booster doses, and 601 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 29.6 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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