New Brunswick is reporting nine new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, concentrated in the province's northwest health zone.
Public Health also announced a significant rise in hospitalizations, climbing to 14 patients. Six of them are in intensive care.
The Edmundston Regional Hospital will soon reach its maximum capacity for patients needing acute care, said Dr. France Desrosiers, President and CEO of Vitalité Health Network, in a press release Saturday evening.
"The transfer of patients to other facilities is imminent," she said.
"We will have depleted all available resources to provide safe health care during an emergency situation."
Desrosiers said she was confident the front-line medical and nursing staff would continue to provide exemplary work "until the end."
On top of the increased hospitalizations, members of the provincial rapid outbreak management team have been deployed to an Edmundston care home. Officials have declared an outbreak at Résidence Rolande Long, after confirmation of a case there.
There are now two care homes in the city experiencing active outbreaks, with the other at Foyer Saint-Jacques.
New Brunswick has 153 active cases, mostly in Zone 4. The new cases include:
In the Edmundston region (Zone 4), seven new cases:
A person 19 and under.
A person in their 20s.
Two people in their 40s.
A person in their 50s.
A person in their 60s.
A person in their 70s.
Public Health said all but two of the new cases in Zone 4 are close contacts of a previous case. The others are under investigation.
In the Saint John region (Zone 2), two new cases:
Two people in their 40s, both under investigation.
The province has confirmed 1,641 total cases since the start of the pandemic, including 1,457 recoveries. There have been 30 deaths.
Public Health conducted 980 tests on Friday for a total of 260,393.
Edmundston vaccine clinics extended
The latest numbers come as hundreds of residents of the Edmundston region are set to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Community clinics are being held in the northwest New Brunswick city over the holiday weekend and into early next week.
The clinics were extended through Wednesday after nearly every appointment was booked.
New Brunswick's hardest-hit region during the pandemic is under red-phase restrictions after an uptick in cases and spread of the B117 variant.
Under the red phase, restaurants must switch to take out and delivery only. Gyms, barbers, hair salons and spas must close.
All of Zone 4, except for Saint-Quentin and Kedgwick, is under the tighter restrictions.
Vaccines continue to be available across all parts of New Brunswick, through pharmacies and clinics.
Several priority groups are currently eligible to receive a shot, including people 75 and older, residents of a First Nation community, truckers, rotational workers, health care workers, first responders, and people with complex medical conditions. A full list can be found on the provincial government's website.
Potential exposure at Edmundston bank
Public Health is reporting possible exposure to COVID-19 at a bank location in Edmundston.
People who visited Scotiabank at 75 Canada Rd. during the following days and times should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days:
March 29 between 8:45 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
March 30 between noon-4:30 p.m.
March 31 between noon-4:30 p.m.
If symptoms develop, people should stay home and contact Public Health to get tested for COVID-19.
Several shops, restaurants, a grocery store and a hockey arena have reported potential exposures to the virus. A full list of locations can be found on the provincial government's website.
What to do if you have a symptom
People concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test online.
Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included:
Fever above 38 C.
New cough or worsening chronic cough.
New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell.
In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes.
People with one of those symptoms should:
Stay at home.
Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor.
Describe symptoms and travel history.