Community Update – January 6, 2022

Situation Report

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Vitalité Health Network is providing this situation report in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the current challenges facing the health care system. This report will be updated as needed, as the situation changes.

COVID-19 and Omicron variant

Given the rise in COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant and its impacts on human resources in the health care system, Vitalité Health Network transitioned to the red level on December 31.

Our top priority is to maintain services essential to the public by redeploying staff to critical sectors, such as intensive care units, emergency departments and COVID-19 units. Pandemic-related services, such as vaccination and testing, will also need to be maintained.

As we enter the fifth wave of the pandemic, the Network is getting ready to maintain the health care system in place for New Brunswickers. As a health care leader, we understand that this period can be worrisome. The Network is committed to communicating proactively with the public as often as necessary.

Red level – service levels

During the red level, service levels are adjusted based on the epidemiology and local conditions in terms of human resources within facilities. Check the Network's website and social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter) often for the most recent updates.

Unaffected care and services

  • Patient appointments
    Patients who have an appointment may present for their appointment at the scheduled date and time. The Network will contact the patients whose appointment must be postponed.
  • Phlebotomy (blood sampling)
    Patients may present for their bloodwork.
  • Inpatients, emergency departments
    Inpatient care and services are maintained in all hospitals, and all emergency departments are open.
  • Oncology and hemodialysis services
    Services are maintained.
  • Mental health and addiction services
    Services are maintained.

Areas/services affected by service reductions

  • Non-urgent (elective) surgeries
  • Ambulatory care services
  • Medical imaging services (x-rays, scans, etc.)
  • Professional services (physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, audiology, nutrition, respiratory therapy, etc.)
  • Community health centres, health centres and medical clinics

Ban on visits remains in effect

Due to the large number of new COVID 19 cases in the province, and the risks associated with the arrival of the Omicron variant, general visits remain suspended in all Network hospitals.

Visits by designated support persons are also suspended, temporarily, on several units due to potential exposures to the COVID-19 virus. Check the full list on our website.

The Network acknowledges that these restrictions are difficult for patients and families. They are in place to ensure the safety of patients, visitors and health care workers. Whenever possible, the Network encourages people to use technology to stay in contact with their hospitalized loved ones.

Vaccination clinics

The Network is continuing its vaccination efforts and is encouraging people to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or, for those who are eligible, to get their booster. The schedule and locations of our vaccination clinics are posted on the Network's page and are updated regularly.

Based on the new measures from the provincial government, the Network reminds the public that laboratory tests (PCR) are reserved for people at the highest risk of being hospitalized due to COVID-19. These include:

  • health care workers and people who live or work in long-term care facilities, homeless shelters and correctional facilities;
  • people who are symptomatic and aged 50 and over;
  • people who are symptomatic and immunocompromised or pregnant;
  • people who need a PCR test for travel; and
  • people who are identified as a priority by Public Health.

Rapid test kits

Changes to the provincial program

The provincial government has made changes to the COVID-19 rapid test kit distribution program.

Use of the kits is reserved for symptomatic persons who are under 50 years old and do not belong to the following groups:

  • patients and health care workers of the regional health authorities;
  • residents and employees of long-term care facilities, correctional institutions and homeless shelters;
  • First Nations members.

Asymptomatic testing is no longer recommended for the general public.

A positive rapid test no longer requires confirmation by a PCR test in the lab and is considered to be a positive COVID-19 case (if the person does not belong to a vulnerable community or priority group listed above). Persons who test positive must document their positive test result and follow the updated guidelines for positive cases, which are accessible online on the provincial government's website.

Kit distribution – new process and required registration

Since Wednesday, January 5, there is a new process in place for kit distribution. You must now register on the provincial government site to book an appointment to obtain a kit at one of our new distribution sites.

Kits will no longer be distributed freely on a first-come, first-served basis. These changes are part of the province's new testing strategy in its fight against the Omicron variant.


Facility Bed occupancy rate Number of COVID-19
patients hospitalized
Number of health care workers removed from work
Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont UHC 108% 5  
Stella-Maris-de-Kent Hospital 130% 0  
Edmundston Regional Hospital 89% 10 (13 in
Intensive Care)
Grand Falls General Hospital 80% 0  
Hôtel-Dieu Saint-Joseph de Saint-Quentin 100% 0  
Campbellton Regional Hospital 101% 1  
Chaleur Regional Hospital 85% 6 (1 in
Intensive Care)
Tracadie Hospital 107% 0  
Enfant-Jésus RHSJ† Hospital 108% 0  
Lamèque Hospital and CHC 100% 0  
Vitalité Health Network 98% 22 108

(As of January 6, 2022)

For up-to-date information, please visit the Network's website or follow us on our social media platforms.

Thank you for your cooperation with our various measures, which are necessary to protect the safety of our patients, staff, physicians and communities.