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N.B. COVID-19 roundup: Zone 4 returns to red, 30 new cases reported –



Part of the Edmundston region, Zone 4, will return to the red phase of recovery for four days, effective 6 p.m. Thursday, as case counts and variant cases climb.

Dr. Jennifer Russell made the announcement at a live-streamed update on Thursday, where she also announced 30 new cases, the highest number reported in a single day in two months.

Of those 30 new cases, 24 are in the Edmundston region, Russell said.

“Just when it seemed things were getting better, the game has changed again, and the variants are driving that change,” Russell said. “The new strains are really daunting, they’re more infectious and it is difficult to keep cases contained.” 

Edmundston and the upper Madawaska region are going back two phases in COVID-19 recovery, skipping over orange to the more severe restrictions of the red phase.

The rest of the region, including Grand Falls, Kedgwick, Saint-Quentin and Saint-Léonard, will remain in the yellow phase for now, along with the rest of the province. 

The minimum four-day phase change, which Russell referred to as a “circuit-breaker,” will allow Public Health to review the results of contact tracing and mass testing underway in Zone 4 to determine how widespread the outbreak is.

“Depending on our findings, this measure could be extended for a longer period of time and it may need to be expanded to cover the rest of Zone 4,” Russell said.

Dr. Jennifer Russell urged all New Brunswickers not to relax their guard in the midst of rapidly transmissible variants, noting that ‘what is happening in the Edmundston region’ can happen anywhere. (Submitted by the Government of New Brunswick)

Russell acknowledged the challenging timing of the circuit breaker, noting that it is “coming at a time when people are fatigued” and longing for return to normalcy. 

“I know this is a hardship for the Edmundston area, which has already gone through our most stringent measures, including a full lockdown, but it is vital to public safety,” Russell said.

“I am appealing directly to the people of the Edmundston area to stay within their household bubble, wear a mask, maintain two metres of physical distance in public and follow all other public health measures.”

In the red phase, residents must remain within a single-household bubble, which may be extended to include caregivers, a family member who needs support or some other person who needs support.

Masks are mandatory in indoor public spaces and in outdoor public spaces where physical distancing of two metres cannot be maintained. Travel in and out of the circuit-breaker area is not permitted.

A full list of guidelines is posted on the government’s website.

Parts of the Edmundston region will return to the red phase of recovery for four days at 6 p.m. Thursday, in what Dr. Jennifer Russell is calling a ‘circuit-breaker’ amid rising cases. (CBC News)

30 new cases, variants fuelling Zone 4 surge

There are 30 new cases of COVID-19 in the province, the highest number reported in a single day in two months.

In the Edmundston region, which has 24 of the 30 new cases, the variant is responsible for 62 per cent of the cases. 

The number of cases in that region has doubled and then doubled again in less than two weeks, and there are confirmed cases of community spread, Dr. Jennifer Russell said Thursday.

Asked why the outbreak in the Edmundston region is proving so tenacious compared to outbreaks in other regions, Russell noted that “every outbreak is different,” but that the variant is a formidable factor.

Most outbreaks “start with a traveller, either work-related or otherwise,” she said.

In the outbreak in the Edmundston region, there are more public exposures and “transmission is happening in places where food is consumed.”

As well, she said, “people are tired, they’re COVID-fatigued, particularly in that zone, where people have been in lockdown in the last several months. It’s very exhausting. … So we do need to dig deep and we do need to work very hard together to get this outbreak under control.”

Health Minister Dorothy Shephard noted that the recent outbreak in the Miramichi region, Zone 7, happened at a time when the entire province was orange. 

“So we had less contact and I’m sure that played a big role in containing it,” she said.

Edmundston residents line up for mass testing on Thursday. Dr. Jennifer Russell said variants are driving the surge of cases in that region, but outbreaks can happen anywhere. (Gary Moore/CBC News)

The new cases break down in this way:

Saint John region, Zone 2, five new cases:

  • an individual 20 to 29
  • two people 30 to 39 
  • two people 40 to 49
  • All of these cases are related to travel outside the province

Edmundston region, Zone 4, 24 new cases:

  • nine people 19 or under
  • three people 20 to 29
  • six people 30 to 39
  • two people 40 to 49
  • three people 60 to 69
  • an individual 70 to 79
  • Of these 24 cases,14 are travel-related, nine are contacts of a previous case and one is under investigation.

Bathurst region, Zone 6, one new case:

  • an individual 50 to 59
  • This case is under investigation. 

The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 1,546. Since Wednesday, three people have recovered, for a total of 1,426 recoveries.

There have been 30 deaths, three patients are in hospital, and the number of active cases is 89.  A total of 248,551 tests have been conducted, including 1,120 since Wednesday’s report.

New potential exposure notification in Zone 4

Public Health has identified a potential public exposure to the coronavirus at the following location in Edmundston:

  • Dollarama, 15 Mowin St., on March 21 and 22.

Already on the list of potential exposures:

  • Kentucky Fried Chicken Restaurant, 180 Hébert Blvd., on March 19 between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Centre Jean-Daigle, 85 du 15 Août St., on March 21, during a hockey game of the Edmundston Blizzard which started at 3 p.m. 
  • March 22 between 7:45 a.m. and 2:25 p.m. – Burger King (10 Mahsus Ct., Edmundston)
  • March 21 between 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. – Burger King (10 Mahsus Ct., Edmundston)
  • March 20 between 6:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. – Burger King (10 Mahsus Ct., Edmundston)
  • March 21 between 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. – Superstore (577 Victoria St., Edmundston)
  • March 20 between 4:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. – Superstore (577 Victoria St., Edmundston)
  • March 19 between 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. – Superstore (577 Victoria St., Edmundston)
  • March 21 between 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. – Pizza Delight (185 Hébert Blvd., Edmundston)
  • March 20 between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. – Pizza Delight (185 Hébert Blvd., Edmundston)
  • March 17 between 5 and 6:30 p.m. – Restaurant Poissonnerie Ouellet (350 Victoria St). 
  • March 20 between noon and 12:45 p.m. – McDonald’s Restaurant (190 Hébert Blvd.)

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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Canada’s Telesat takes on Musk and Bezos in space race to provide fast broadband



By Steve Scherer

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada’s Telesat is racing to launch a low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellite constellation to provide high-speed global broadband from space, pitting the satellite communications firm founded in 1969 against two trailblazing billionaires, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.

Musk, the Tesla Inc CEO who was only a year old when Telesat launched its first satellite, is putting the so-called Starlink LEO into orbit with his company SpaceX, and Inc, which Bezos founded, is planning a LEO called Project Kuiper. Bezos also owns Blue Origin, which builds rockets.

Despite the competition, Dan Goldberg, Telesat’s chief executive officer, voices confidence when he calls Telesat’s LEO constellation “the Holy Grail” for his shareholders – “a sustainable competitive advantage in global broadband delivery.”

Telesat’s LEO has a much lighter price tag than SpaceX and Amazon’s, and the company has been in satellite services decades longer. In addition, instead of focusing on the consumer market like SpaceX and Amazon, Telesat seeks deep-pocketed business clients.

Goldberg said he was literally losing sleep six years ago when he realized the company’s business model was in peril as Netflix and video streaming took off and fiber optics guaranteed lightning-fast internet connectivity.

Telesat’s 15 geostationary (GEO) satellites provide services mainly to TV broadcasters, internet service providers and government networks, all of whom were growing increasingly worried about the latency, or time delay, of bouncing signals off orbiters more than 35,000 km (22,200 miles) above earth.

Then in 2015 on a flight home from a Paris industry conference where latency was a constant theme, Goldberg wrote down his initial ideas for a LEO constellation on an Air Canada napkin.

Those ideas eventually led to Telesat’s LEO constellation, dubbed Lightspeed, which will orbit about 35 times closer to earth than GEO satellites, and will provide internet connectivity at a speed akin to fiber optics.

Telesat’s first launch is planned in early 2023, while there are already some 1,200 of Musk’s Starlink satellites in orbit.

“Starlink is going to be in service much sooner … and that gives SpaceX the opportunity to win customers,” said Caleb Henry, a senior analyst at Quilty Analytics.

Starlink’s “first mover” advantage is at most 24 months and “no one’s going to lock this whole market up in that amount of time,” Goldberg said.

Telesat in 2019 signed a launch deal with Bezos’ aerospace company Blue Origin. Discussions are ongoing with three others, said David Wendling, Telesat’s chief technical officer.

They are Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, Europe’s ArianeGroup , and Musk’s SpaceX, which launches the Starlink satellites. Wendling said a decision would be taken in a matter of months.

Telesat aims to launch its first batch of 298 satellites being built by Thales Alenia Space in early 2023, with partial service in higher latitudes later that same year, and full global service in 2024.


The Lightspeed constellation is estimated to cost half as much as the $10 billion SpaceX and Amazon projects.

“We think we’re in the sweet spot,” Goldberg said. “When we look at some of these other constellations, we don’t get it.”

Analyst Henry said Telesat’s focus on business clients is the right one.

“You have two heavyweight players, SpaceX and Amazon, that are already pledging to spend $10 billion on satellite constellations optimized for the consumer market,” he said. “If Telesat can spend half that amount creating a high-performance system for businesses, then yeah, they stand to be very competitive.”

Telesat’s industry experience may also provide an edge.

“We’ve worked with many of these customers for decades … That’s going to give us a real advantage,” Goldberg said.

Telesat “is a satellite operator, has been a satellite operator, and has both the advantage of expertise and experience in that business,” said Carissa Christensen, chief executive officer of the research firm BryceTech, adding, however, that she sees only two to three LEO constellations surviving.

Telesat is nailing down financing – one-third equity and two-thirds debt – and will become publicly traded on the Nasdaq sometime this summer, and it could also list on the Toronto exchange after that. Currently, Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board and Loral Space & Communications Inc are the company’s main shareholders.

France and Canada’s export credit agencies, BPI and EDC respectively, are expected to be the main lenders, Goldberg said. Quebec’s provincial government is lending C$400 million ($317 million), and Canada’s federal government has promised C$600 million to be a preferred customer. The company also posted C$246 million in net income in 2020.

Executing the LEO plan is what keeps Goldberg up at night now, he said.

“When we decided to go down this path, the two richest people in the universe weren’t focused on their own LEO constellations.”

($1 = 1.2622 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Steve Scherer in Ottawa; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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$600K donation to boost online mental health programming in Nova Scotia



Nova Scotia Health’s mental health and addictions program hopes to offer more online support to people across the province after receiving a significant donation this week.

The QEII Foundation announced that RBC is contributing $600,000 toward the province’s e-mental health programming.

“It’s particularly important for the current time under all the strains of COVID,” said Dr. Andrew Harris, a psychiatrist and the senior medical director for the program.

The plan for online programming has been in the works for years, he said, but the pandemic expedited the push. Last June, the department launched a number of applications that can be used to help those with anxiety, depression and addictions.

Since then, as many as 3,000 Nova Scotians have used the site to access mental health services.

“There’s a persistent difficulty in accessing services,” Harris said of traditional models in Nova Scotia. He said those who don’t need intensive therapy may find the support they need through the online programs.

He uses the example of someone who can’t take time off work to speak to a clinician.

“It’s better for them to be able to access a service after hours or on the weekend. So our e-mental health services are tailored a little bit to meet that need.”

Calls to crisis line increase

Harris said the province’s mental health crisis line continues to see a 30 per cent increase in calls for help, so he’s trying to raise awareness that services can be accessed immediately online.

“I think everyone is aware that for a lot of people it’s much easier to talk about a physical illness than a mental illness. So there’s an allowance there for privacy, for some anonymity but still making available things that can help the person who is struggling in the community.”

The online portal has a list of programs that people can use, covering things like reducing stress, solving problems and becoming mindful. It mirrors a site in Newfoundland and Labrador that Harris said is used to help people in remote areas.

Harris said the donation from RBC will be used to continue to evaluate more services, and pay for the licensing of the products that are mostly developed by other organizations.

He encourages anyone who is struggling to test out the site, and use it as an entry point into the mental health system.

“It’s important for people to acknowledge when they’re struggling. It happens to all of us through our lives in different times.”

Anyone in Nova Scotia looking to access the tools can visit:


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Samsung’s cheapest 5G Galaxy phones yet are launching this month




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  • Samsung is launching five new phones in its Galaxy A series this month.
  • Three of them will support 5G connectivity, and the most expensive phone is just $500.
  • The cheapest phone of the five still has three cameras but lacks 5G and other features.
  • See more buying advice on the Insider Reviews homepage.

Samsung may be best known for its high-end Galaxy S phones that rival the iPhone. But the tech giant is proving that it can appeal to cost-conscious customers with the launch of five new smartphones in the United States, the priciest of which only costs $500.

Samsung’s new lineup of budget phones, which debuted in other markets before coming to the US, are all launching this month. Some of them will be released as soon as this week, while the least expensive model will debut on April 29. The launch comes as competitors like Apple and Google have also been focusing on cheaper smartphones to boost sales.

Three of these new Samsung devices also support 5G, another sign that shoppers no longer have to pay a premium to get access to next-generation wireless networks. All five of the new phones also have the traditional headphone jack for wired listening and run on an octa-core processor.

Here’s a look at the new Samsung Galaxy A series phones that will be launching soon.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

Galaxy A52 5G_Awesome Black_Front_Back


  • Release date: April 9
  • Price: $499.99

The Galaxy A52 5G is the most expensive smartphone of the bunch. It comes with a 6.5-inch FHD+ screen and a quad-camera system that includes some of the same features as Samsung’s more expensive Galaxy S phones. These include Single Take, which creates several different photos or video clips with different effects with a single press of the shutter button.

Its screen can also boost its refresh rate up to 120Hz for smoother scrolling and performance, a feature that has become common on pricier flagship phones but is rare on cheaper models. It’s also the only phone in this A-series lineup to include Samsung’s notch-free screen design.

Samsung Galaxy A42 5G

Galaxy A42 5G_Prism Dot Black_Front_Back


  • Release date: April 8
  • Price: $399.99

The less expensive Galaxy A42 5G has a slightly larger screen than the A52 5G, but scales back on certain features when it comes to the camera and screen refresh rate.

Still, it has a triple-lens camera with high-resolution sensors, and like its pricier sibling it also supports Single Take.

Samsung Galaxy A32 5G

GalaxyA32 5G_Awesome Black_Front


Release date: April 9

Price: $279.99

The Galaxy A32 5G is Samsung’s cheapest 5G smartphone to date. It has a large 6.5-inch screen, but it’s made from an LCD panel instead of Super AMOLED. That means it will likely lack some of the contrast and boldness of Samsung’s other devices. But Samsung hasn’t skimped on the camera considering this model has a quad-lens main camera, which is rare if not unheard of at that price.

Samsung Galaxy A12

Galaxy A12_Black_Back


Release date: April 9

Price: $179.99

Samsung’s Galaxy A12 doesn’t come with 5G support, but it still gives you a lot for the price. For less than $200, you’re getting a quad-lens camera and a large 6.5-inch LCD screen. But remember this phone only has 32GB of storage, so it’s best suited for those who don’t store a lot of photos and videos on their device.

Samsung Galaxy A02s

Galaxy A02s_Black_Front


  • Release date: April 29
  • Price: $109.99

The Galaxy A02s is Samsung’s cheapest phone, offering a 6.5-inch LCD screen and three main cameras. It doesn’t have 5G support or as much computing power or camera prowess as Samsung’s other A-series phones, but that’s to be expected for a device at this price. This phone is truly for those who just need the basics and little else.

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Source:- Business Insider

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