New Brunswick Public Health reported 17 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, boosting the number of active cases in the province to 55.

This is the highest number of daily cases reported in New Brunswick since Nov. 21, when 23 new cases were reported.

Twelve of the new cases are in Zone 1 (Moncton region) and include:

  • two people 19 and under;
  • four people in their 20s;
  • two people in their 30s;
  • one person in their 40s;
  • one person in their 50s;
  • one person in their 60s; and
  • one person in their 80s.

There are three cases in Zone 3 (Fredericton region) including one person in their 20s and two people in their 60s.

The other two new cases are in Zone 5 (Campbellton region) and include a person in their 20s and a person in their 70s.

Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health, says she's concerned -- and disappointed.

"We have three clusters of cases now. We have two in Zone 1 and one in Zone 3, again, related to holiday gatherings that people attended while they were symptomatic," Russell said. "That is a huge problem."

Added to the 17 reported over the weekend, Monday's total pushes the province's active case count to 55.

Russell says they are linked to holiday gatherings and workplaces.

"We have another few days ahead of us of, let's say new clusters, as a result of New Year's gatherings," Russell said. "We are not in a good place in terms of the direction that things are going right now, so I am concerned. I am concerned about the cooperation of the public right now."

All of these people are self-isolating and the cases are under investigation.

Public health says the number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 635. Of those, 570 have recovered and nine people have died.

One patient is hospitalized and is in intensive care.

As of Monday, New Brunswick public health has conducted 154,556 tests.

"If you have even mild symptoms, stay home and get tested," said Russell in a news release. "Even with mild symptoms, do not go to work or attend social or family get-togethers. Do not rely on known travel history of yourself and others to dismiss symptoms as being COVID-19 related. Remember, if you have travelled you must self-isolate for a full 14 days."

Information on self-isolation is available online.

NEW BRUNSWICK, P.E.I. STUDENTS RETURN TO CLASS AFTER HOLIDAY BREAK

While Nova Scotia extended its school holiday break by a week, Monday marked the first day of school in 2021 for New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island students.

New Brunswick Education Minister Dominic Cardy has sent a challenge to all students and staff to "mask up" as much as possible this week and next.

"We can show that the students, the staff, the support staff in the school system can continue to set an example the way that they have from the beginning of this pandemic in doing the right thing and wearing masks whenever possible for the next couple of weeks, so we get through that risky period," Cardy said.

Cardy says most students and staff wore masks in the fall, but that right now, it's even more important to pay attention, and follow those public health guidelines.

VACCINATION CLINICS BEING PLANNED FOR NURSING HOMES

There are 20 clinics being set up at long-term care homes across the province Tuesday and Wednesday as 1,200 residents will receive their first dose of the Moderna vaccine.

Almost 3,000 more doses of the Pfizer vaccine are expected to arrive Tuesday.

Those will be administered to healthcare workers in Moncton later this week.

POTENTIAL EXPOSURES AT TWO MONCTON LOCATIONS

Public Health is advising the public of potential public exposure to the coronavirus at the following locations in Zone 1 (Moncton region):

  • Moncton Squash Club (71 Essex St., Moncton)
  • Dec. 29, 30 and 31 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Bo Diddley’s Lounge (285 Collishaw St., Moncton)
  • Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Anyone who was atthese locations during these times is askedtoself-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and follow all public health guidelines. Anyone who isexperiencing mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 is urged to complete the self-assessment and get tested.

CASE LOCATIONS

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

  • Zone 1 – Moncton region: 173 confirmed cases (22 active cases)
  • Zone 2 – Saint John region: 129 confirmed cases (1 active case)
  • Zone 3 – Fredericton region: 138 confirmed cases (21 active cases)
  • Zone 4 – Edmundston region: 34 confirmed cases (4 active cases)
  • Zone 5 – Campbellton region: 141 confirmed cases (4 active cases)
  • Zone 6 – Bathurst region: 14 confirmed cases (1 active case)
  • Zone 7 – Miramichi region: 6 confirmed cases (2 active cases)

SELF-MONITORING FOR SYMPTOMS

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 also includes information about vehicle traffic attempting to enter the New Brunswick border.

On Sunday, 990 personal and 582 commercial vehicles attempted to cross the border into the province.

Of the vehicles attempting to cross the border, 34 were refused entry, for a refusal rate of 2.2 per cent.