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N.B. moves to monthly COVID reporting until fall

By Brad Perry Apr 25, 2023 | 2:14 PM

New Brunswick will move to monthly reporting of COVID-19 numbers for the next few months.

Public Health announced the change in its latest weekly COVIDWATCH update on Tuesday.

Starting May 2, the weekly report will be updated every four to five weeks between May and August.

Reports are scheduled to be released on May 2, May 30, June 27, July 25 and August 29.

“For the next respiratory illness season, which will begin in early September, we will release bi-weekly reports on September 12th and September 26th and then move to weekly reporting afterwards,” said the report.

2 more deaths reported

Two more COVID-related deaths have been reported in the province, bringing the total number to 879.

Both deaths occurred in late March, according to a graph included with the weekly COVID report.

“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.

One person was between 50 and 69 years old and the other was aged 70 and older, according to figures provided by Public Health.

Active hospitalizations increase over last week

The virus sent seven more people to the hospital between April 16 and 22, including one to an intensive care unit. All seven of those admitted to the hospital were aged 70 and older.

During the previous week, there were 12 new admissions to the hospital and one 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 42 people in the hospital as of April 22 (up from 35 a week earlier) and five in intensive care (up from zero a week earlier).

  • Horizon Health: 30 active hospitalizations and four in intensive care, compared to 22 active admissions and zero in intensive care one week earlier.
  • Vitalité Health: 12 active hospitalizations and one in intensive care, compared to 13 active admissions and zero 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.

COVID test positivity rate falls

There were 80 positive PCR tests between April 16 and 22, down from 102 the previous week.

A total of 818 PCR tests were conducted for a positivity rate of 9.8 per cent compared to 11.2 per cent the previous week. The positivity rate is considered an indicator of community transmission.

Meanwhile, there were also 50 positive self-reported rapid tests for a weekly total of 130 cases, down from 157 total cases reported the week before.

The Moncton health region (Zone 1) recorded 32 per cent of the new cases, followed by the Saint John health region (Zone 3) with 22 per cent and the Fredericton health region (Zone 2) with 19 per cent.

Among the most recent random PCR samples sequenced, 92 per cent were the XBB variant, five per cent were BA.2, and three per cent were BA.5.

According to the two health authorities, 32 health care workers were off the job for COVID-related reasons as of April 22, compared to 25 health care workers a week earlier.


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