COVID-19 case counts continue upward trend in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia

·3 min read

HALIFAX — Case counts continued to nudge upward in two Maritime provinces on Thursday, as health officials urged people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible.

In New Brunswick, officials said 19 of the 23 new cases reported Thursday involved people who were not fully vaccinated.

"Having 19 out of 23 new cases not fully vaccinated shows, again, the importance of people getting vaccinated with two doses to protect themselves, their families and those who cannot get vaccinated, such as children under 12,” Dr. Cristin Muecke, deputy chief medical officer, said in a news release.

Sixteen new cases were identified in the Moncton, N.B., region, where officials have reported a cluster of infections driven by the Alpha variant, first detected in the United Kingdom. Four news cases were in the Miramichi region and the remaining three cases were in the Saint John area.

New Brunswick has 132 active reported cases of COVID-19, up from 115 on Wednesday. Officials say about 72 per cent of New Brunswickers aged 12 and older are fully vaccinated and 83.7 per cent have received at least one dose.

A government news release Thursday asked people to book appointments for a first dose or to advance their second dose "as soon as possible."

Meanwhile, Mount Allison University said it would require its students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1 or be subject to regular testing. The announcement came a day after Premier Blaine Higgs said he wanted to make vaccination mandatory for government employees and anyone whose job is funded by the province.

A new release from the Sackville, N.B., university asked people to get vaccinated in their home communities before coming to campus, if possible.

"We will continue to adapt to what is happening with the COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to keep our campus and community as safe as possible," president and vice-chancellor Jean-Paul Boudreau said Thursday. "We thank everyone who has already been fully vaccinated and encourage the rest of our community to get vaccinated as soon as possible."

The university said students, faculty and staff will be asked to submit proof of vaccination. Unvaccinated people won't be prevented from studying or working but they will be subject to health and safety regulations that include regular testing, the university said.

In Nova Scotia Thursday, health officials reported eight new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 32 active infections. That was up from the day before when 25 active cases were reported.

Six of the cases were identified in the Halifax area with five related to travel and one under investigation. Another case in the northern zone was related to travel while the remaining case in the eastern zone involved a close contact of a previously reported infection.

Officials said one person was in intensive care in hospital with the disease. As of Wednesday, 77.2 per cent of all Nova Scotians had at least one dose of vaccine and 68.8 per cent were fully vaccinated.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 19, 2021.

Keith Doucette, The Canadian Press

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