New Brunswick moves to yellow in COVID-19 response plan, relaxes health orders

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FREDERICTON — Public health officials in New Brunswick reported five new cases of COVID-19 Monday as the province shifted to the "yellow" level of its pandemic response plan.

Under the new restrictions, residents can expand their circle of regular contacts from 10 to 15 people, with whom they can visit restaurants and socialize.

Health officials say formal indoor gatherings are permitted as long as venues operate at half capacity and physical distancing is maintained.

Prior to the changes, which took effect just before midnight, the province had been in the more restrictive "orange" level, following a spike in case numbers dating back to January.

Two travel-related cases were reported Monday in the Moncton region, while in Miramichi, three new cases were linked to a previously reported infection.

New Brunswick has 36 active reported cases of COVID-19 and three patients are in hospital with the disease, including one in intensive care. The province has reported a total of 1,460 COVID-19 infections and 28 deaths linked to the virus.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell says people must remain vigilant and follow public health advice, even at the yellow level.

Clinics are scheduled to take place this week to vaccinate more than 10,400 people, including residents and staff at 56 licensed long-term care facilities. First-dose clinics for long-term care residents are expected to be completed by March 17.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2021.

The Canadian Press