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N.B. Adds 31 More COVID Deaths

By Brad Perry Feb 7, 2023 | 5:09 PM

New Brunswick confirmed 31 more COVID-related deaths in its latest weekly report, bringing the total to 812.

But Public Health said most of the deaths actually happened months ago and have only just been confirmed.

Five of the deaths occurred between mid-November and mid-January, according to a graph provided by the province. The remaining 26 deaths happened before Aug. 28, 2022.

“There’s typically a lag in reporting, as Public Health relies on SNB’s Vital Statistics for notifications of deaths,” said the latest weekly report.

“Due to the intricacies of the reporting process, which requires medical practitioners and funeral directors to file paperwork, the lag can sometimes be longer than usual.”

Public Health only provided details on the five most recent deaths. Two people were aged 50 to 69 while the remaining four were aged 70 and over.

Hospitalizations and ICU admissions

The virus sent nine more people to the hospital between Jan. 29 and Feb. 4, but no one was admitted to an intensive care unit.

Of those admitted, one person 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 12 new admissions to the hospital, including one 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 66 people in the hospital as of Feb. 4 (up from 63 a week earlier) and five in intensive care (down from nine).

  • Horizon Health: 42 active admissions and four in intensive care, compared to 57 active admissions and six in intensive care one week earlier.
  • Vitalité Health: 24 active admissions and one in intensive care, compared to six active admissions and three 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 472 positive cases were reported over the past week, including 339 positive PCR tests and 133 self-reported rapid tests. That was up from 408 reported positive cases the previous week.

The Moncton Health region, Zone 1, is the hotspot with 124 cases, accounting for 26 per cent of the total case count.

The Fredericton health region (Zone 3) recorded 25 per cent of the new cases, followed by the Saint John health region (Zone 2) with 17 per cent.

Amongst the most recent random samples sequenced, 73 per cent were the BA.5 variant, 21 per cent were XBB, and six per cent were BA.2.

Vaccine doses

In terms of vaccinations, the Department of Health says 1,002 doses were given out over the past week, including 76 first doses, 84 second doses, 153 first booster doses, and 689 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 29.9 per cent have received their second booster.

According to the two health authorities, 80 health care workers were off the job for COVID-related reasons as of Saturday, compared to 61 health care workers a week earlier.


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