Premier Blaine Higgs and Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health, are speaking at a news briefing at 2:30 p.m. in Fredericton.  

Public Health reported six new cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick on Wednesday, including one in Edmundston (Zone 4), which has had few cases throughout the pandemic, and two in Bathurst.

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 119 active cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick, but no one was in hospital.

Teen with autism barred from stores without a mask

A Moncton woman says she’s too afraid to go out in public with her autistic son, who’s exempt from wearing a mask.

Christine Roberts says her 16-year-old son, Jayden Moore, received a doctor’s note for his exemption, as he’s been diagnosed as moderate to high-functioning on the autism spectrum, with sensory processing disorder and high anxiety.

If he were forced to wear a mask, Jayden would have a breakdown or refuse to leave the house, Roberts said. 

“He will just stop moving or sit down on the floor wherever he’s at,” she said. “If it’s bad enough, he’ll start crying.”

Christine Roberts and her son Jayden Moore, seen here at the Moncton Geekfest last fall, are struggling because store owners refuse to let the 16-year-old inside their business, even though he’s medically exempt from wearing a mask. (Submitted by Christine Roberts)

Roberts said it’s making her life very difficult because she doesn’t drive. She and her son can’t take the bus because masks are required.

“I’m fearful, I’m anxious and it’s not over a virus,” she said. “It’s over getting fined when I can’t afford it.”

When the Moncton region wasn’t in the orange phase, Jayden Moore would go for walks to pass the time. (Submitted by Christine Roberts)

Masks are required in public spaces indoors and outdoors under the orange phase of COVID-19 recovery, where Moncton sits as part of the Zone 1 region health zone.

According to the New Brunswick government website, medical exemptions for masks are allowed.

When the Moncton region was in the yellow phase, Roberts would rush into a store and find the manager or staff right away to let them know of Jayden’s exemption. But it didn’t do much good. 

Christine Roberts, a single mother in Moncton, is calling on government to provide more support for families and individuals who live with disabilities. (Vanessa Blanch/CBC)

“We’re kind of jumped on by every employee.”

Earlier this week, a woman in Woodstock was arrested and charged with obstruction of justice after an encounter with police after she didn’t show a store proof of a medical exemption from wearing  mask.

An image posted on Facebook on Monday, appearing to show a person being restrained by two Woodstock police officers, has generated backlash and controversy over enforcement of orange phase rules. (John Breau)

Education Minister Dominic Cardy told Information Morning Moncton on Wednesday that store owners are free to insist that masks are worn on their premises

Roberts said she’s frustrated and saddened by this.

“It’s not business owners’ responsibility to uphold my son’s human’s rights. It’s my government.”

Education Minister Dominic Cardy said Wednesday stores are free to insist that masks are worn on their premises. (Submitted by the Government of New Brunswick)

She has written letters to Premier Blaine Higgs and Health Minister Dorothy Shephard, but she hasn’t heard back.

Roberts said she’s still hopeful she will be able to shop for basic needs or to take her son outside for a walk, just to get some exercise.

“I really don’t know what to do.”

One new case at Shannex in Saint John

Results of testing done Tuesday at Shannex Parkland facility’s Tucker Hall unit in Saint John have been processed and confirmed one new case of COVID-19 in an employee, Shannex said in a statement on its website Thursday.

The employee has been out of the workplace and self-isolating since Nov. 24 for being a close contact of a previously confirmed case, the statement said.

Test results for all of the residents of Tucker Hall were negative.

“At this time, we currently have at total of 16 confirmed cases: 10 residents and five employees at Tucker Hall, and one employee at Carleton Hall,” Shannex said in the statement.

It noted that the residents who tested positive continue to be cared for in a special area located on Simms Court, and that they are in discussion with Public Health about re-testing.

Potential public exposure warnings for Saint John, Moncton, Fredericton

New potential exposure warning for flight into Moncton

New Brunswick Public Health has identified a positive case in a traveller who may have been infectious on Nov. 28 while on the following flights:

Air Canada Flight 8372 from Fort McMurray to Calgary, departed 6:10 a.m. Air Canada Flight 144 from Calgary to Toronto, departed at 11:15 a.m. Air Canada Flight 8918 from Toronto to Moncton, departed at 8:30 p.m.

Public Health has also warned of the following possible exposures to the virus in the Saint John, Moncton and Fredericton areas, including gyms, stores, bars, restaurants and on flights.

Saint John area Cask and Kettle on Nov. 17, at 112 Prince William St., between 8 p.m. and 8:45 p.m., Saint John. Churchill’s Pub on Nov. 20, at 8 Grannan St., between 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., Saint John. Picaroons on Nov. 21, at 30 Canterbury St., between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., Saint John. Thandi’s Restaurant on Nov. 21 between 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. 33 Canterbury St., Saint John Vito’s Restaurant on Nov. 16, 111 Hampton Rd., Rothesay, between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.  Cora Breakfast and Lunch on Nov. 16 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., 39 King St., Saint John GoodLife Fitness McAllister Place on Nov. 16 between noon and 1 p.m. and on Nov. 18 between 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., 519 Westmorland Rd., , Saint John. NBCC Grandview campus on Nov. 16, 17, and 18 between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., 950 Grandview Ave., Saint John. Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio on Nov. 19 between 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., 47 Clark Rd., Rothesay Big Tide Brewing Company at 47 Princess St. on Nov. 16, between 12:30 to 2 p.m., Saint John. Java Moose at 84 Prince William St. Nov. 16, between 2 to 2:30 p.m., Saint John. Flights into Saint John:

Public Health identified a positive case in a traveller who may have been infectious on Nov. 17 and Nov. 18 while on the following flights:

Air Canada Flight 8421 on Nov. 17 and 18 from Kelowna to Vancouver, arrived at 8 p.m.
  Air Canada Flight 314 on Nov. 17 and 18 from Vancouver to Montreal, arrived at 07:11 a.m.
  Air Canada Flight 8792 on Nov. 17 and 18, from Montreal to Saint John arrived at 9:22 p.m. Moncton  RD MacLean Co. Ltd. on Nov. 16, 17 and 18 at 200 St. George St., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.   GoodLife Fitness on Nov. 21 at 555 Dieppe Blvd, Dieppe, between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.   Flights into Moncton: Air Canada Flight 178 on Nov. 19 from Edmonton to Toronto, arrived at 5:58 a.m.
  Air Canada Flight 404 on Nov. 19 from Toronto to Montreal, arrived at 10:16 a.m.
  Air Canada Flight 8902 on Nov. 19 from Montreal to Moncton, arrived at 4:17 p.m. Fredericton area The Snooty Fox on Nov. 18 and 19, 66 Regent St., between 8:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. ​​​​​​ GoodLife Fitness Fredericton on Nov. 18 at 1174 Prospect St. between 10:20 a.m. and 11:20 a.m. Nov. 19 between 1:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. The YMCA of Fredericton on Nov. 17 at 570 York St. throughout the evening.  What to do if you have a symptom

People concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test online. 

Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included:

A fever above 38 C.

A new cough or worsening chronic cough.

Sore throat.

Runny nose.

Headache.

New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell.

Difficulty breathing.

In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes.

People with one of those symptoms should:



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