Any New New Brunswick COVID-19 Restrictions Likely to Apply Provincewide, Says Prime Minister – New Brunswick | The Canadian News

Prime Minister Blaine Higgs said no new pandemic-related restrictions are planned for New Brunswick until the effects of the recently implemented measures are understood.

But he said the new actions are not likely to target specific health zones or regions specifically affected by the fourth wave of COVID-19, but rather the entire province.

New Brunswick returned to a state of emergency over the weekend, with limits on indoor gatherings and the reintroduction of so-called ‘Steady 20’ contacts for domestic bubbles.

Those changes were announced two days after the province reinstated mandatory masks in indoor public spaces and a test of the vaccination policy.

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Kevin Wilson, a Halifax-based epidemiologist and pandemic data analyst, said the government might hesitate to impose more blanket restrictions because the recent surge in COVID-19 cases is being driven by a smaller, unvaccinated segment of the population.

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He said New Brunswick should consider tightening the rules in specific regions or health zones to try to cool hot spots.

“If the problem is very localized, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them have a localized reaction,” Wilson said.

“(For example,) if you can control Moncton just by increasing tests or reintroducing skins, do as little disruptive as possible.”

New Brunswick Medical Society President Dr. Jeff Steeves said the province will want to track the success or failure of the most recent measures before taking other measures.

“Looking at how quickly this has come back, particularly in the last two or three weeks, we’re going to have to watch very, very closely,” Steeves said. “We just take action and if we don’t see a tick in a week, we may have to impose more.”

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The Health Department echoed Dr. Steeves in an emailed statement to Global News.

“Currently, the framework for imposing or easing the Mandatory Order and public health measures depends on the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the province,” wrote spokesman Bruce Macfarlane.

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“There are a lot of public health measures ordered since last week to reduce the number of cases throughout the province. It will take more than two weeks from the introduction and adoption of these measures to impact community transmission and COVID-19 trends in New Brunswick. “

Higgs said the number of COVID-19 cases leading to operational changes at hospitals will be a major factor in any future action.

He said any new restrictions will likely apply across the province, not individual health zones.

“At this stage, it seems like our focus should be on a provincial focus,” Higgs said. “So basically we can implement rules and regulations that people can understand, that they can accept as real and necessary.”

Steeves and Wilson say the province should be as transparent as possible in imposing additional restrictions.

If not, Wilson said health officials threaten to alienate New Brunswick residents who have worked hard and followed the rules to date.

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