New Brunswick’s premier, top doctor to provide coronavirus update

New Brunswick officials are set to provide an update on COVID-19 in the province Friday.

Premier Blaine Higgs and Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province’s chief medical officer of health, will provide the update at 2:30 p.m. AT.

Russel confirmed on Thursday that they had detected seven more cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number to 33 cases in New Brunswick.

All cases in New Brunswick have been travel related.

On Thursday, Higgs announced details on a series of assistance programs.

Under the program, workers and self-employed individuals in New Brunswick who have lost their jobs due to the province’s state of emergency over COVID-19 will receive a one-time $900 benefit.

The benefit will be administered through the Red Cross and is meant to bridge the time between now and when individuals receive federal benefits.

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Higgs said he hopes the program will begin as early as Friday or by Monday at the latest.

But officials with the Red Cross told Global News that the program isn’t yet ready to roll-out.

Dan Bedell, a spokesperson for the region’s branch of the Red Cross, said they are “still are in discussions with the New Brunswick government to confirm details” and that “for the moment there is no confirmed start date for this program.”

The premier also said layoffs in the province are believed to have impacted between 25,00 and 30,000 individuals as a result of the new coronavirus.

The true figures will become clearer after Statistics Canada releases its figures for the entire month.

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