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Two confirmed cases of South African variant in Saint John Region
Two confirmed cases of the South African variant were detected in Zone 2, the Saint John region, of New Brunswick this week. Dr. Jennifer Russell, Chief Medical Officer of New Brunswick, is advising all residents of the province to be vigilant when it comes to maintaining adherence to protective health measures.
"If I could stop all travel, I would be more confident about being able to contain outbreaks," said Dr. Russell in an interview with Charlotte County Television. "Everybody needs to continue following Public Health advice. Keep washing your hands and social distancing, and don't go out unnecessarily."
In the interview, Dr. Russell stressed that just because vaccine rollout is in effect with about one quarter of New Brunswickers now having received at least one dose of the vaccine, that doesn't mean we are out of the woods yet. In fact. the new variants at play in the world and in the province are making this period of time during the pandemic the most concerning.
"The variants of concern are more contagious and they cause more severe symptoms even in younger people in their 20s, 30s and 40s. The UK variant is now the dominant strain in our province," said Dr. Russell.
New Brunswick has had low numbers of COVID-19 cases comparatively with regards to other provinces, but those numbers need to stay low in order to not risk overwhelming hospitals in the province, particularly with the new variants now sending an alarming number of New Brunswickers not just to hospital but to the ICU.
"I am really concerned about the number of people in hospital right now," said Dr. Russell. "This is the most concerning time in the pandemic that we are going through right now."
Charlotte County television is New Brunswick's only source for independent community television. Since 1993, CHCO-TV has been providing Southwest New Brunswick with locally-produced content made by community it serves.
The mission of CHCO-TV is to promote community media and to encourage, educate and engage residents in Southwestern New Brunswick, to use new media and technology, to improve civic involvement, learn new media skills and enhance the culture, the economy, health and quality of life in New Brunswick.