It was a quiet Christmas for many in the Maritimes, with New Brunswick counting down the timer to hit level two of its winter COVID-19 action plan on Monday.
Despite that, many, including the Campbell Family from Moncton, did their best to carry on this holiday with a new normal.
After 19 years together, Greg and Wendy Campbell from Moncton tied the knot on Christmas Eve, but not without a pandemic twist.
“So we took the plunge, and the officiant that we had wound up confirming that they had COVID-19 the day of the wedding, they told us a few days before that they had been exposed so we got married via FaceTime rather than in person,” said groom Greg Campbell.
The small family get-together proceeded with caution, at home.
“So it was for the best that we did FaceTime, for sure, but it was certainly different, it was just myself, my wife, our son, and her mother,” added Campbell.
The most recent number of COVID-19 cases announced in New Brunswick was on Dec. 24, when the province reported 1653 active cases of the virus.
The newlyweds decided to make the best of their plan.
“Originally we had hoped to try have a wedding this summer but due to scheduling and what not it wasn’t going to be feasible, so we thought you know, what better time with the way everything has gone with COVID-19, what better way to try and turn a positive out of the way this year has gone then to have a wedding,” said Campbell.
New Brunswick is moving to a revised version of Level 2 of its COVID-19 winter plan Monday.
The province did not provide COVID-19 updates on Christmas Day or Boxing Day, the next update will be Dec. 27.
“I wish that we wouldn’t have to go to level 2 but we are going in that direction, I’m hoping the numbers will stay down,” said Executive Director of the Coalition for Seniors Cecile Cassista.
Changes include limiting gatherings to a steady 10, and venues must only have 50 per cent capacity or a maximum of 150 people. Restaurants, gyms, spas and salons are at 50 per cent capacity, sports are not permitted for those under 12-years-old, while those over 12 may only practice with their own team.
Rapid test distribution was over one million in the last week, Fredericton’s distribution ran out of rapid tests by 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
“I know there’s huge line ups in the Moncton-area and some of us are going to Hillsborough to pick up because the drive thru is much easier, and I’ve heard from families that said they do rapid tests before they’ve got together with their family members,” Cassista said.
Rapid test pick up locations will reopen on Wednesday.