Mysterious spike in N.B. deaths in 2021 not due to COVID, health minister says – CBC

Health Department unsure what caused 636 ‘excess’ deaths over 20 weeks

May 13, 2022

A mysterious spike in “excess” deaths in New Brunswick that began last summer as the COVID-19 Delta variant began spreading in the province saw 636 more deaths than normal over a 20-week period, according to new estimates.

That is an apparent mismatch with the 79 COVID deaths New Brunswick reported during the 20 weeks.

On Wednesday, Health Minister Dorothy Shephard told the legislature she does not know why deaths jumped so high, but said she doubts it was caused by undetected COVID cases.

“We have been extremely transparent with our COVID-19 numbers and our COVID-19 deaths,” Shephard said during question period.

“I cannot explain those numbers at this actual moment, but the department has been asked to look at it, and it will do so as we progress through our evaluations,” she said.

In an ongoing study of what it calls “provisional death counts and excess mortality” related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Statistics Canada reported new figures this week.

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