FREDERICTON — The COVID-19 circuit-breaker measures imposed almost a month ago on parts of New Brunswick to stop a surge in infections were extended on Friday by another week in two areas.
Health officials announced the lockdown rules — which include a ban on private indoor gatherings and travel restrictions — would remain in an area stretching north from Moncton to Sainte-Anne-de-Kent, and a large section of the Saint John area and Kings County.
Chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell said the province was making progress in reducing the spread of the virus.
That's why the circuit-breaker restrictions were to be lifted Friday as of 6 p.m. in and around Fredericton, Edmundston and Campbellton.
Meanwhile, the province reported one additional death linked to COVID-19 — a person in their 70s in the Edmundston area — and 51 new cases on Friday.
The province's active case count stood at 477, which included 14 people recovering in hospital — nine of them receiving intensive care.
As of Friday, 85.6 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers were fully vaccinated, and 92.8 per cent had received their first dose of a vaccine.
Premier Blaine Higgs first announced the circuit-breaker measures on Oct. 5, saying a surge in cases was straining the province's health-care system. The original set of measures were put in place for two weeks.
At the time, the province had 782 active cases, triple the number of cases in neighbouring Nova Scotia. There were 50 people recovering in hospital, including 23 receiving intensive care — a caseload that led to cancelled surgeries and other health-related backlogs.
In late July, New Brunswick became the first province in Atlantic Canada to remove all health-protection measures, including mask-wearing rules. But on Sept. 24, as the Delta variant continued to spread rapidly across the province, Higgs reimposed a state of emergency on the same day a senior health official admitted that lifting restrictions two months earlier was a mistake.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 5, 2021.
The Canadian Press