New Brunswick reports 122 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, 11 people in hospital

Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting 122 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, along with 29 recoveries, as the active number of cases in the province rises to 229.

The new cases include 51 identified on Saturday, 39 identified on Sunday and 32 identified on Monday; 86 per cent of the new cases are not fully vaccinated.

The province is also reporting 11 people in hospital due to COVID-19, with nine in an intensive care unit.

"It has been many months since we've seen this number of active cases. But this fourth wave of infection is different than what we saw during the third wave last winter and spring," said Dr. Jennifer Russell, N.B. chief medical officer of health.

"The vast majority of new infections are happening among those who are not yet fully protected against the COVID-19 virus. Adults who are not fully vaccinated are catching the virus and passing it onto others. If you are not vaccinated, you are risking your health and well-being, and you are also putting at risk the health of our children and their ability to stay in school, as well as other vulnerable New Brunswickers.”

Russell said the U.K. variant was particularly prominent in the Moncton region (Zone 1), but the rest of the province was primarily reporting Delta variant cases. According to Russell, New Brunswick has not identified any cases of the Mu variant.

According to N.B. health, since July 1, there have been 698 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick. Of those, 613 or 88 per cent involve people who are not fully vaccinated.

“At some point, we have to call this pandemic what it is. A pandemic of the unvaccinated, spread by the unvaccinated to innocent others, others who have done their part. There is a tiny number of people who cannot get vaccinated. For everyone else please step up; for your province, for your family, and for yourselves,” said Dominic Cardy, N.B. Education and Early Childhood Development Minister during Monday’s news update.

The province also gave an update on the outbreak at Harvest House, a Moncton shelter and community centre, that was declared on Friday. There are now 24 confirmed cases involving residents and staff of the facility, and a second round of testing is set to take place Monday.

ADDITIONAL MEASURES FOR N.B. SCHOOLS

An increasing incidence of COVID-19 in schools and pre-schools in New Brunswick has prompted the province to re-impose a mask mandate starting Tuesday.

“Since Thursday, there have been positive cases in 11 schools and three child care facilities," Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy said during a news conference in Fredericton on Monday afternoon. "As of (Tuesday), all students in schools in pre-schools must wear masks. This will be in place for two weeks and then reassessed."

According to the province, positive cases have been confirmed in schools in the Moncton region, Fredericton region, and Campbellton region.

  • In the Moncton region, one positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at each of the following schools: Riverview High School, West Riverview Elementary and Moncton High School.
  • In the Fredericton region, one positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at École Sainte-Anne in Fredericton and two positive cases have been confirmed at Donald Fraser Memorial in Plaster Rock.
  • In the Campbellton region, one positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at each of the following schools: Dalhousie Regional High School, Galion des Appalaches in Campbellton and Polyvalente Roland-Pépin in Campbellton. Two positive cases have been confirmed at each of the following schools: Lord Beaverbrook School in Campbellton, Sugarloaf Senior High School in Campbellton, and Campbellton Middle School. Positive cases have also been confirmed at Wee Care Day Care, Wee Care 2 Early Learning Centre and Youth In Action Day Care, all of which are located in Campbellton.

As per New Brunswick’s Healthy and Safe Schools guidelines, schools with cases will close or move to online learning for at least one calendar day to support contact tracing, risk assessments and operational responses.

Public health says any student or family member that has been in close contact with a case will be notified by Public Health for contact tracing.

In addition, the following additional health and safety measures will be implemented in at schools in the Campbellton and Dalhousie communities until at least Friday, Sept. 24.

  • Schools in those communities will reduce the amount of contact between groups of students in different classrooms to the greatest extent possible;
  • Schools will not begin any new interscholastic, extracurricular or intramural activities.
  • Teachers who are fully vaccinated will be able to remove their masks in the classroom for instructional purposes.
  • In child-care facilities, school-aged children will wear masks at all times and these facilities will reduce contact between groups of children to the greatest extent possible.
  • Staff who are fully vaccinated will continue to wear masks in common areas and may remove their masks within their own group of children, however unvaccinated staff must wear masks at all times.  

CASE BREAKDOWN

Thirty-six new cases were reported in the Moncton region (Zone 1) involving:

  • four people age 19 and under
  • nine people in their 20s
  • five people in their 30s
  • three people in their 40s
  • 10 people in their 50s
  • three people in their 60s
  • two people in their 70s

Twenty-six cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases and 10 cases are under investigation.

One new case was reported in the Saint John region (Zone 2), involving a person in their 30s, and is travel related.

Twenty-three new cases were reported in the Fredericton region (Zone 3) involving:

  • 12 people age 19 and under
  • four people in their 20s
  • two people in their 30s
  • two people in their 40s
  • one person in their 50s
  • two people in their 60s

Fifteen cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases and eight cases are under investigation.

Eleven new cases were reported in the Edmundston region (Zone 4) involving:

  • one person age 19 and under
  • two people in their 20s
  • two people in their 30s
  • two people in their 40s
  • two people in their 60s
  • one person in their 70s
  • one person age 90 and over

Eight cases are under investigation and three cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

Forty-eight new cases were reported in the Campbellton region (Zone 5) involving:

  • 28 people age 19 and under
  • six people in their 20s
  • three people in their 30s
  • six people in their 40s
  • two people in their 50s
  • one person in their 60s
  • two people in their 70s

Twenty-seven cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases and 21 cases are under investigation.

One new case was reported in the Bathurst region (Zone 6), involving a person in their 20s, and is under investigation.

Two new cases were reported in the Miramichi region (Zone 7) involving a person in their 20s, and a person in their 30s. Both cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases.

VACCINE UPDATE

As of Monday, 76.9 per cent of New Brunswickers age 12 and older are fully vaccinated and 85.6 per cent have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

In total, 1,131,475 vaccine doses have been administered in New Brunswick.

“Having as many New Brunswickers vaccinated as possible is key to getting our province through this current rise in cases and moving beyond the pandemic,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. “While our health-care system is able to handle the current level of hospitalizations, we do not want to wait until we reach a critical state to introduce changes. Cabinet will be meeting later today and will work with Public Health to determine whether new guidelines are required.”

All eligible New Brunswickers can book their second dose appointments now for a date that is at least 28 days after their first dose.

COVID-19 CASE DATA

New Brunswick has had 3,031 cumulative cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

In total, 2,754 people have recovered, and 47 people have died in the province from COVID-19.

Public health says a total of 424,414 COVID-19 tests have been processed since the start of the pandemic.

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

  • Zone 1 – Moncton region: 822 confirmed cases (71 active cases)
  • Zone 2 – Saint John region: 339 confirmed cases (4 active cases)
  • Zone 3 – Fredericton region: 563 confirmed cases (43 active cases)
  • Zone 4 – Edmundston region: 812 confirmed cases (29 active case)
  • Zone 5 – Campbellton region: 256 confirmed cases (61 active cases)
  • Zone 6 – Bathurst region: 162 confirmed cases (8 active cases)
  • Zone 7 – Miramichi region: 77 confirmed cases (13 active cases)

POTENTIAL PUBLIC EXPOSURES

Anyone with symptoms of the virus, as well as anyone who has been at the site of a possible public exposure, is urged to request a test online or call Tele-Care at 811 to get an appointment.

This is a developing story and will be updated.