Atlantic Canada records 33 new COVID-19 cases, bulk of new infections in N.B.

·2 min read

HALIFAX — Health officials across Atlantic Canada reported 33 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, with the ongoing surge in New Brunswick making up the bulk of new infections.

Officials in that province reported 30 new cases, while Nova Scotia identified three.

Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 while Prince Edward Island did not release any new case information.

In response to the climbing number of infections, New Brunswick announced further travel restrictions in the province.

A day after prohibiting all non-essential travel, the government said students travelling into New Brunswick from other provinces due to formal custody or care agreements must now receive weekly COVID-19 tests.

The new travel restrictions also apply to students in kindergarten to Grade 8 living in Quebec or Nova Scotia who attend school in New Brunswick.

The new cases in New Brunswick fanned out across the province, with health officials reporting eight cases in the Fredericton region and seven in the Edmundston area. The Campbellton and Moncton regions both recorded six new cases while the Saint John area had three.

Only the northeastern end of the province from Bathurst along the Acadian Peninsula to Miramichi reported no new cases.

Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical health officer, encouraged residents to download the COVID alert app.

“We all want to move back to the yellow alert level of recovery as soon as possible,” she said in a statement.

The entire province remains at the orange level, which seeks to balance "the reopening of businesses and activities while preventing a resurgence of transmission," according to New Brunswick's recovery plan.

The number of active cases in New Brunswick is 171. The province has had 765 confirmed cases, with 584 considered recovered and nine deaths.

Meanwhile, officials in Nova Scotia said two new cases reported Saturday are in the central zone, with one a close contact of a previously reported case while the other is related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada.

The third case in the eastern zone is a student at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish and is also related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada, they said.

Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, said the cases among post-secondary students returning to the province is as a reminder of the importance of public health measures.

Premier Stephen McNeil thanked residents for remaining vigilant.

"We can see from our case numbers that Nova Scotians and university students returning to our province are doing a good job following the public health protocols and orders," he said in a statement.

Nova Scotia has 31 active cases.

Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Saturday.

The province has four active cases.

Prince Edward Island did not update the province's COVID-19 figures on Saturday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 9, 2021.

Brett Bundale, The Canadian Press