New Brunswick reports no new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday

On Saturday, New Brunswick reported no new cases of COVID-19.

That means the total number of cases in the province remains at 120.

Health officials say that 118 people have recovered from the disease and only two people continue to have an active version of the disease.

READ MORE: New Brunswick enters 2nd phase of COVID-19 recovery plan

No patients are in hospital and no one has died from the disease in New Brunswick.

On Friday, the day captured by results released on Saturday, the province conducted 397 COVID-19 tests. Since the outbreak began New Brunswick has conducted 17,426 tests.

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The confirmation of no new cases continues a streak of good news for New Brunswickers after the province announced on Friday that it would immediately be moving into its “orange” phase, the next step in their COVID-19 recovery plan.

Under the new stage, offices, retail stores, restaurants and cultural institutions like libraries, galleries and museums are permitted to open.

However, all businesses must craft operational plans that detail how social distancing can be observed, as well as how those who are symptomatic or have travelled outside of the province within the last 14 days will be screened and kept out of their premises before they are permitted to open.

READ MORE: How New Brunswick’s four-step plan to recover from COVID-19 works

Masks will be required to be worn in public whenever physical distancing is not possible, with exemptions for children under two and anyone with a medical condition that makes them unable to wear one.

That requirement could apply to any public business, such as grocery stores, that feels it cannot maintain physical distancing.

“Businesses can open effective immediately, but each of them must decide when they are ready to open,” Premier Blaine Higgs said Friday.

“Some have been preparing for this moment and will be able to open right away. Others will need more time.”

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Elective surgeries in New Brunswick’s hospitals can also resume although they will prioritize the most urgent cases.

Regulated health-care providers like dentists will also be able to resume operations but will have to follow special protocols.

The New Brunswick Dental Society (NBDS) said late on Friday that it received the province’s directions and that they’ve already developed an operational plan for its members.

NBDS says its members need time to prepare to reopen, so dental offices will not open until May 13, 2020.

Daycares regulated by the Department of Education will be allowed to open on May 19 while non-regulated daycares are allowed to open as of Friday.

New Brunswickers are expected to stay within their two-household bubble as part of the “orange” phase, while physical distancing is also important.

Higgs and the province’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Jennifer Russell, did not provide a televised update on Saturday.

The pair are expected to provide their next COVID-19 update on Monday.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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