New Brunswick unveils coronavirus self-assessment tool, urges continued social distancing

New Brunswick has unveiled an online self-assessment tool to assist the province’s residents during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The tool is available on the province’s website and is meant to help indicate who needs to be tested for COVID-19. Other provinces have introduced similar tools this week.

The assesment tool was unveiled during an update provided by Premier Blaine Higgs and Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province’s chief medical officer of health, on Friday.

There are no new cases of COVID-19 in the province and there remains seven confirmed cases and four presumptive cases.

Russell said two days in a row of no new cases means very little and that there she expects more travel-related cases to pop up as people continue to return home.

Russell asked that New Brunswickers follow the order to self-isolate for 14 days if they have travelled internationally.

Self-isolating does not mean getting their own groceries, Russell said.

But individuals are allowed to step outside for a breath of fresh-air while observing social distancing.

“Limit screen time and social media,” said Russell. “Have some structure and routine to your day.”

Higgs echoed the important of self-isolation and social-distancing.

“It is imperative we do all we can to keep everyone else healthy,” said Higgs on Friday.

Higgs also announced a plan to defer payments on provincial student loans, an action that matches a decision made by the federal government earlier this week.

The premier announced the decision to declare a state of emergency at a press conference on Thursday, saying it was necessary to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19.

“Declaring a state of emergency was not an easy decision,” Higgs said.

“We need to ensure essential services… remain open.”

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