Health officials raise concerns as COVID-19 case numbers remain high in New Brunswick

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FREDERICTON — A COVID-19 outbreak in the Moncton, N.B., area is leading the province's chief medical officer of health to suspect people in the region aren't following the government's health orders.

Dr. Jennifer Russell told reporters Wednesday the number of COVID-19 cases remains high in Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe — even though the region has been under circuit-breaker restrictions since Oct. 8.

Circuit-breaker rules include limits on indoor private gatherings, and travel to or from affected areas is restricted.

"The fact that this outbreak is not reducing leads me to believe that many people do not respect the circuit-breaker measures," Russell said.

"More than half the cases we have seen in (the Moncton) area are happening within households," she said. "We are seeing the virus spread within families and then spread again through social contact.

"If everyone was following the circuit-breaker restrictions by limiting their close contacts to their immediate household, technically speaking, this outbreak should have been significantly reduced by this point."

Russell said there was also a high number of cases in the Miramichi area and in the Saint John region.

Officials reported 69 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday and a total of 548 active infections. Of that total, 218 active cases were in the Moncton area, 107 in the Miramichi region and 102 in the Saint John area.

There were 17 people hospitalized with the disease, including 11 in intensive care.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 10, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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