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Three More COVID Deaths Reported, Hospitalizations Increase

By Brad Perry Feb 23, 2023 | 5:00 AM

New Brunswick confirmed three more COVID-related deaths in its latest weekly report, bringing the total to 825.

Public Health said none of the deaths happened during the reporting period, between Feb. 12 and 18.

All three deaths occurred throughout the month of December, according to a graph provided by the province.

“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 three deaths involved people aged 70 and over, according to Public Health.

Hospitalizations and ICU admissions

The virus sent 20 more people to the hospital between Feb. 12 and 18, including one to an intensive care unit.

Of those admitted, one person was under the age of 20, four were between 20 and 59 years old, two were 60 to 69 years old, and 13 were aged 70 and older.

During the previous week, there were 10 new admissions to the hospital and three to an ICU.

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

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 76 people in the hospital as of Feb. 18 (up from 66 a week earlier) and 10 in intensive care (up from six).

  • Horizon Health: 55 active admissions and nine in intensive care, compared to 47 active admissions and four in intensive care one week earlier.
  • Vitalité Health: 21 active admissions and one in intensive care, compared to 19 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, Fredericton regions the hotspot for new cases

A total of 525 positive cases were reported over the past week, including 350 positive PCR tests and 175 self-reported rapid tests. That was down from 527 reported positive cases the previous week.

The Moncton health region (Zone 1) was the hotspot with 133 new cases, accounting for 25 per cent of the total case count.

The Fredericton health region (Zone 3) recorded just under 25 per cent of the new cases while the Saint John health region (Zone 2) recorded 24 per cent.

Amongst the most recent random samples sequenced, 73 per cent were the BA.5 variant, 24 per cent were XBB, and three per cent were BA.2.

Vaccine doses

In terms of vaccinations, the Department of Health says 814 doses were given out over the past week, including 89 first doses, 116 second doses, 147 first booster doses, and 462 second booster doses.

A total of 85.8 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers have received two doses, 54.7 per cent have received a booster shot, and 30.1 per cent have received their second booster.

According to the two health authorities, 56 health care workers were off the job for COVID-related reasons as of Saturday, compared to 95 health care workers a week earlier.


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