New Brunswick to mandate face coverings in public buildings, reports no new COVID-19 cases

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New Brunswick is reporting no new cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday, a day after reporting its first death related to the disease.

That puts the province at a total of 136 COVID-19 cases. Health officials say 121 people have recovered from the disease.

Four people remain in hospital, one of which is intensive care.

The province has also announced that face coverings will be required by anyone entering a building open to the general public beginning Tuesday, June 9.

Masks covering the mouth and nose had previously been required in any location where physical distancing of 2 meters wasn’t possible.

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The expansion of the guideline sees exemptions for children under the age of two, any children attending a licensed early education and child care facility and those unable to wear face coverings for medical reasons.

New from New Brunswick Public Heath: "Effective on Tuesday, June 9, the requirement to wear a face covering in any location in which physical distancing of 2 metres is not possible, is extended to everyone entering a building open to the general public."

— Travis Fortnum (@travisfortnum) June 5, 2020

Friday also marks the day that the majority of the province will progress to the second part of the “yellow phase” in New Brunswick’s COVID-19 recovery plan.

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The only area that won’t progress is Zone 5, the Campbellton region.

As a result of the ongoing outbreak in the area, the region remains in the province’s “orange phase.”

The first death associated with COVID-19 occurred in Zone 5 on Thursday.

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1:42 Resident of N.B. special care home dies after testing positive for COVID-19

Resident of N.B. special care home dies after testing positive for COVID-19

Daniel Oullette, the first New Brunswicker to die of COVID-19, was a resident at Manoir de la Vallée in Atholville, N.B.

He’s being remembered as a hard-working family man who was full of energy.

The cluster in the Campbellton region has been traced back to a doctor who contracted the virus in Quebec and did not self-isolate upon his return to New Brunswick.

The next step in the “yellow phase” means that as of June 5, in all areas except Zone 5, the following is allowed:

Household bubbles can be extended to close friends and family. Indoor gatherings in private homes remain at 10 or fewer.Non-regulated health professionals and businesses can open, including acupuncturists and naturopaths.Personal service businesses can open, including barbers, hairstylists, spas, estheticians, manicurists, pedicurists and tattoo artists.Outdoor gatherings of 50 or fewer with physical distancing, indoors for religious services are now allowed.An increase in elective surgeries and other non-emergency health-care services.Outdoor visitation with physical distancing in long-term care facilities.Swimming pools, saunas and waterparks, subject to the gathering limit of 50 for any separate area, pool or feature, can openGyms and yoga and dance studios can open.Rinks and indoor recreational facilities, subject to the gathering limit of 50 for a separate area or spectators, can open.Pool halls and bowling alleys can open.Low-contact team sports are permitted.

Through the “yellow phase,” unnecessary travel into New Brunswick is still not allowed, with anyone entering the province expected to answer questions and self-isolate for 14 days.

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