As New Brunswick prepares to scrap nearly all of its health restrictions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic early Friday evening, experts warn that the province should expect to face a new wave of infections this fall due to a highly contagious delta variant.
With New Brunswick’s low number of active cases, an infectious disease specialist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Dr. Allison McGuire, says she understands Prime Minister Blaine Higgs’ decision to ease health restrictions, including wearing a mask.
However, Dr. McGuire warns the public that it is clear that the delta variable is on the rise in British Columbia, Alberta and nearly all of the United States. In fact, the US Center for Communicable Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has already recommended that adequately vaccinated people resume wearing masks in indoor public spaces, where epidemics are common.
For example, Dr. McGuire says she has no problem easing restrictions in Atlantic Canada, provided citizens are fully aware that masks and other essential measures may need to be reimposed in the fall.
Another expert, epidemiologist Colin Furness, who specializes in infection prevention, also says he supports New Brunswick’s plan to scrap the vast majority of its health measures, but predicts the strategy will fail if the government doesn’t maintain it. Wear a mask in indoor public places.
Colin Furness, a professor at the University of Toronto, asserts that once New Brunswickers start sharing the same air again in enclosed spaces without masks, we will definitely see the beginning of a fourth wave dominated by the delta variable.
Vaccination rate: 66%
On the eve of the lifting of health measures in New Brunswick, the county’s vaccination rate has remained well below the overall target limit of 75% to achieve minimum community immunity.
As of Thursday, the county said just over 66% of the eligible population had been adequately vaccinated. However, 81.9% of the population aged 12 and over received at least one dose.
In addition, Public Health reported four new infections, bringing the number of active COVID-19 cases to 12.
Three of the new cases are in the Bathurst area and are believed to be travel related. The fourth case is in the Saint-Jean region and is believed to be linked to an already known case.
Prince Edward Island
In neighboring Prince Edward Island, more than half of the eligible population of 12 years or older is now reported to be adequately vaccinated.
The proportion of citizens who received two doses is 53.6% with approximately 75,300 people adequately vaccinated.
The county has set itself a goal of achieving a full vaccination rate of 80% for those age 12 and older. Already, about 88% of the population has already received a dose.
Also in Atlantic Nova Scotia, only one new case of COVID-19 was reported Thursday. The affected person is in the Central Health District, which includes Halifax. This case will be related to a trip.
This new infection brings the number of active cases to ten, but there are no hospital admissions linked to the coronavirus.
The most recent data provided indicates that 75.9 of Nova Scotia residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine and that 61.3% of the population have been adequately immunized.
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