New Brunswick COVID-19 case numbers spike as Nova Scotia numbers dwindle

·2 min read

FREDERICTON — While low COVID-19 case numbers allowed in-person dining to resume early in Halifax-area restaurants Monday, New Brunswick reported 17 new infections — the highest number of daily reported cases in the province since Nov. 21.

With 17 cases reported in New Brunswick over the weekend, during which chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell warned residents of a "spike" in cases, the province has identified 36 infections so far in 2021.

Officials said 12 of Monday's new cases were in the Moncton area, three were in the Fredericton region and two were in the Campbellton area, adding that half the new cases involve people under 30 years old. "Even with mild symptoms, do not go to work or attend social or family get-togethers," Russell urged in a news release. "Remember, if you have travelled you must self-isolate for a full 14 days.”

New Brunswick has 55 active reported cases of COVID-19 and one person is in hospital with the disease, in intensive care. The province has reported nine deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.

In Nova Scotia, restaurants and licensed establishments in the Halifax area opened for in-person dining for the first time since late November. Health officials closed dining rooms in parts of the Halifax Regional Municipality and Hants County on Nov. 26 in an effort to curb community spread. It was expected they would open again on Jan. 11.

"I'm pleased that the recent low number of cases in the greater Halifax area means that restaurants can reopen today," Premier Stephen McNeil said in a statement Monday. "I want to thank the hardworking entrepreneurs in this sector for their patience as we do our best to slow the spread of the virus."

The province reported six new cases on Monday, two of which officials said were identified on Sunday. Nova Scotia has 27 active reported COVID-19 infections and one person is in hospital with the disease.

Newfoundland and Labrador logged its first case of COVID-19 in 2021 on Monday. Officials said the case is travel related and involves a man between 20 and 39 years old. Health Minister John Haggie told reporters 1,785 people in the province had received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine so far.

Officials said plans are underway to begin inoculating people in the remote communities along Labrador's north coast with the Moderna vaccine next week.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 4, 2021.

The Canadian Press