New Brunswick reports another single-day record of COVID-19 infections

·2 min read

FREDERICTON — New Brunswick reported 31 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday — the largest single-day increase in the province since the start of the pandemic.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell said she expects a rise in cases over the next week to ten days as a result of New Year’s Eve gatherings.

"The threat of COVID-19 is not only to the elderly and infirm," Russell told reporters in Fredericton. "We have seen in recent days a large number of young people who have contracted the virus and have spread it to others by going to gatherings while infectious."

New Brunswick reported 27 infections Tuesday — a record at the time — spurring the premier to increase restrictions across the province. The entire province is now at the orange recovery level.

Health officials said Wednesday there were 110 active reported cases in New Brunswick and one person was in hospital with the disease. The latest cases include 15 infections at the Shannex Parkland long-term care facility in Saint John and involve 11 residents and four staff.

Government health officials are at the long-term care complex providing support for residents and the facility’s clinical care team, Health Minister Dorothy Shephard said.

Russell said there are currently 97 health-care workers off the job across the province for COVID-related reasons.

Shephard said she's concerned the number of cases will continue to rise in the days ahead.

"It is frightening to see the numbers increase like this," she told reporters. "When we look to the jurisdictions that surround our province we see how quickly cases can escalate. That can easily happen in New Brunswick if we are not careful."

Shephard said she's confident that if everyone follows public health measures the province can quickly reduce transmission.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 6, 2021.

Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press