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N.B. reports 6 more COVID deaths; hospitalizations increase

By Brad Perry Apr 13, 2023 | 5:00 AM

Six more COVID-related deaths have been reported in New Brunswick as the province reports an uptick in hospitalizations.

The new deaths, announced in the province’s weekly COVID report on Wednesday, bring the total number to 874.

Public Health said none of the deaths happened during the most recent reporting period, which ran from April 2 to 8. Three occurred in March, one in February, one in January, and one in December.

“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 six people were aged 70 and older, according to figures provided by Public Health.

New and current hospitalizations increase

The virus sent 19 more people to the hospital between April 2 and 8, including one to an intensive care unit.

Of those admitted to the hospital, four people were between the ages of 20 and 59, three were 60 to 69 years old, and 12 were aged 70 and older.

During the previous week, there were nine new admissions to the hospital and two to an ICU.

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 39 people in the hospital as of April 8 (up from 30 a week earlier) and two in intensive care (down from three a week earlier).

  • Horizon Health: 24 active hospitalizations and two in intensive care, compared to 21 active admissions and two in intensive care one week earlier.
  • Vitalité Health: 15 active hospitalizations and zero in intensive care, compared to nine active admissions and 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.

Test positivity rate down again

There were 98 positive PCR tests between April 2 and 8, down from 155 the previous week.

A total of 890 PCR tests were conducted for a positivity rate of 11 per cent, down from 16.3 per cent the previous week. The positivity rate is considered an indicator of community transmission.

This was the first full week of reporting after the province did away with the self-referral option for COVID-19 PCR testing.

As of April 1, PCR tests are only being made available when requested by a health-care provider.

Meanwhile, there were also 79 positive self-reported rapid tests for a weekly total of 177 cases, down from 230 total cases reported the week before.

The Moncton health region (Zone 1) recorded 38 per cent of the new cases, followed by the Fredericton health region (Zone 3) with 24 per cent and the Saint John health region (Zone 2) with 18 per cent.

Among the most recent random PCR samples sequenced, 89 per cent were the XBB variant (up from 69 per cent), nine per cent were BA.5 (down from 28 per cent), and two per cent were BA.2 (down from three per cent).

According to the two health authorities, 25 health care workers were off the job for COVID-related reasons as of April 8, compared to 54 health care workers a week earlier.


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