New Brunswick is reporting ten new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing active case numbers to 34.

On Saturday, New Brunswick Public Health reported the 10 new cases of COVID-19, all in Zone 3 (Fredericton region).

The cases involve:

  • Three individuals in their teens
  • Two individuals in their 20s
  • An individual in their 30s
  • An individual in their 40s
  • An individual in their 50s
  • An individual in their 60s
  • An individual in their 70s

All cases are self-isolating and under investigation.

“We are concerned to see such a high spike in cases in one day, but we suspect a number of these cases are connected,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “We are currently undergoing rigorous contact tracing to confirm. We are also assessing the situation to see if further action is required to control the spread.”

SPIKE NOT A COMPLETE SHOCK

Health officials near and far have been warning of the possibility of a post-holiday spike in cases of COVID-19. In New Brunswick's situation, the ten new cases are a daily high not seen in the province since late November.

"[It's] very concerning to see a surge," says Dr.Russell. [It's] not a complete shock because we knew the risks were higher at Christmastime, during the holiday season, New Year's, etc., because we knew people would be travelling, they would be gathering."

With the new cases all from one region, officials believe the majority of them are connected; however, some remain under investigation.

"The contact tracing hasn't been completed yet," says Dr. Russell. "But the ones that contact tracing has been completed [for], and they could find links, those have been found."

A clearer picture of the province's post-holiday COVID-19 situation will take more time to be revealed as the possible full effects of holiday gatherings remain.

Meanwhile, public health is now reminding residents to self-monitor for symptoms of the virus and to get tested even if they're mild.

"I just can't say enough how important it is to remain diligent," says New Brunswick Health Minister Dorthy Shepard. "If you have COVID symptoms, please get tested, protect your community and your family by doing so, and isolate when you need to – it's very important."

"Everybody has to do their part, and right now that is getting tested immediately when you have symptoms and staying home when you're unwell," says Dr. Russell.

Meanwhile, Dr. Russell notes health officials are assessing the current situation in the province to determine if more action is required to control the spread of COVID-19 in the region.

As of Saturday, the entire province remains in the Yellow level of restrictions.

CASE BREAKDOWN

New Brunswick has had 611 confirmed cases of COVID-19, of which 567 have recovered. There have been nine deaths, leaving 34 active cases in the province.

One person is currently in hospital in an intensive care unit, as a result of COVID-19.

To date, 153,826 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in New Brunswick.

CASE LOCATIONS

The number of cases are broken down by New Brunswick's seven health zones:

  • Zone 1 – Moncton region: 155 confirmed cases (6 active cases)
  • Zone 2 – Saint John region: 129 confirmed cases (1 active case)
  • Zone 3 – Fredericton region: 135 confirmed cases (18 active cases)
  • Zone 4 – Edmundston region: 34 confirmed cases (5 active cases)
  • Zone 5 – Campbellton region: 138 confirmed cases (1 active case)
  • Zone 6 – Bathurst region: 14 confirmed cases (1 active case)
  • Zone 7 – Miramichi region: 6 confirmed cases (2 active cases)

IMPORTANCE OF SELF-MONITORING

Following the holidays, Public Health is reminding New Brunswickers of the importance of self-monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms, such as:

  • fever
  • a new cough, or worsening chronic cough
  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • headache
  • a new onset of fatigue
  • diarrhea
  • loss of sense of taste
  • loss of sense of smell
  • in children, purple markings on the fingers and toes

VEHICLE TRAFFIC INFORMATION

New Brunswick's online dashboard includes information about vehicle traffic attempting to enter the province.

On Saturday, 569 personal and 307 commercial vehicles attempted to cross the border into the province.

Of the vehicles attempting to cross the border, 33 were refused entry, for a refusal rate of 3.8 per cent.