Fitzgerald expected to address cases in Atlantic Canada

·2 min read

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald is expected to address the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Atlantic Canada during a news briefing Wednesday, Sept. 15, in St. John’s.

Nova Scotia reported 66 new positive tests Tuesday, its highest one-day total since May.

That province’s health minister and chief medical officer of health gave a news briefing Tuesday, saying the rising numbers have forced the government to delay its next stage of reopening until Oct. 4.

“The fourth wave is hitting Atlantic Canada, and as we have seen elsewhere, it’s having much more of an impact on those who are not vaccinated,” said Dr. Robert Strang.

About 72 per cent per cent of Nova Scotians are fully vaccinated, and authorities have seen an increase in uptake in recent days, Strang said.

Tuesday’s case count came after a weekend that saw 32 new cases on Saturday and 29 cases Sunday, with 12 reported on Monday.

In a news release Tuesday, the Nova Scotia health department singled out a couple of spots where there is community spread.

“There is a large cluster of linked cases in a defined group in Northern Zone. Most of the group is unvaccinated, so more cases are expected,” it said.

It also said there are signs of community spread in the Central Zone among those age 20 to 40 who are unvaccinated and participating in social activities.

Nova Scotia now has 173 active cases of COVID-19. Of those, four people are in hospital.

Newfoundland and Labrador reported nine new cases Monday, all stemming from weekend testing.

Over the past week, the province has been following a cluster in the area of Roddickton-Bide Arm on the Northern Peninsula, where vaccination rates are low.

As of Monday, there were 15 cases in that region.

The province reports one person is in hospital.

New Brunswick is also seeing a major climb in numbers, with 122 positive tests this past weekend alone.

As of Monday, its total number of active cases was 229.

Under current travel restrictions, the Atlantic bubble is still intact, which means Atlantic Canadian residents do not have to isolate or provide vaccine data upon entry to Newfoundland and Labrador. All other travellers must fill out a travel form prior to arrival showing proof of vaccination to avoid quarantine requirements.

Premier Andrew Furey, who will be in Labrador on Wednesday, has said in the past the province will opt out of the bubble if epidemiology dictates a change is needed.

The bubble was abandoned in the fall of 2020 and was not adopted again until June 23, 2021, after various outbreaks were brought under control.

Peter Jackson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram

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