Rapid response report on lifting restrictions for COVID-19: April 16, 2020

Ted McDonald, Eton Boco, Eva Christensen, Bethany Daigle, Chandy Somayaji


The purpose of this rapid review (Part 1 in a 2-part series) is to examine the literature on the various steps being taken around the world to lift restrictions implemented to suppress the spread of COVID-19 – including social restrictions, such as those related to physical distancing, and economic restrictions, such as those affecting the closure of non-essential stores and other businesses.

We find that some restrictions, such the closure of schools and non-essential stores and services, are more commonly among the first to be lifted – though this is done so gradually and with accompanying physical distancing and hygiene requirements. Countries around the world have also begun to ease and/or recommend measures impacting travel, recreation, and sectors of the workforce. While it is too soon to observe the outcomes for many of these measures, modelling studies and observations of case trajectories in Asia suggest a COVID-19 resurgence is likely to occur as restrictions are eased – but if appropriate measures are in place to monitor further infection and reinstate intermittent restrictions, future resurgence could be managed.

The information presented herein on the experiences of other locations ahead of New Brunswick in their COVID trajectories and in the process of reopening their economies can provide valuable insights into the steps this province could take when lifting its own restrictions in future. For Part 2 of this report, we propose to supplement the current work with a qualitative review of the outcomes of easing restrictions, as well as quantitative metrics on the indicators leading up to lifting restrictions – both of which will be used to guide a discussion of implications for scaling back COVID-19 restrictions in New Brunswick.

Report - Part 1 - Rapid response report on lifting restrictions for COVID-19 April 16, 2020
Report - Part 2 - Lifting restrictions for COVID-19: Implications for New Brunswick April 26, 2020

Rapid response reports on COVID-19 projections in New Brunswick

Erfan Mahmood Bhuiyan, Eva Christensen, Bethany Daigle, Sandra Magalhaes, Ted McDonald, Pablo Miah, Chandy Somayaji


This series of reports provides successive updates of projections that the trajectory of COVID-19 cases could follow in New Brunswick based on the experiences of other countries and regions who experienced initial COVID-19 infections earlier than NB. Specifically, these projections estimate what NB’s incident cases, hospitalizations and mortality might be if our province experienced disease trajectories similar to a range of comparison countries and regions, for both 10-day forward and peak infection scenarios. By updating our estimates in subsequent reports as more data become available, we are able to examine how NB is actually doing relative to those scenarios and use the updated data to revise our forecasts accordingly. 

Rapport - Rapport d’intervention rapide concernant la COVID-19 au Nouveau-Brunswick : Le 31 mars 2020 (2020)
Report - Rapid response report on COVID-19 in New Brunswick: March 31, 2020 (2020)
Report - Update: Rapid response report on COVID-19 in New Brunswick: April 14, 2020 (2020)
Report - Update: Rapid response report on COVID-19 in New Brunswick: April 27, 2020 (2020)

Rapid response report on dedicated resources for COVID-19: April 8, 2020

Eva Christensen, Bethany Daigle, Ted McDonald, Chandy Somayaji


As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, policy makers and health care workers are progressively trying to determine best practices for handling the disease – particularly when caring for infected patients. One key question that emerges is whether having dedicated resources (spaces and services) for COVID-19 effectively controls the spread, decreases the severity, and mitigates the cost of the disease – in terms of costs to health care, societal disruption, individual health outcomes (such as scarring of the lungs), and, ultimately, lives lost. This report presents a summary of how health systems in various countries have been separating healthcare resources during pandemic medical management. This includes measures aimed at separation of COVID-19 and non-COVID patient resources, both in terms of separate physical structures for dedicated COVID care and of separation within existing structures, as well as policies aimed at preventing overlap and exposure between point sources of care for medical personnel. 

Report - Rapid Response Report on Dedicated Resources for COVID-19: April 8, 2020 (2020)