Three new cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick, 'record' numbers in self-isolation

·2 min read

FREDERICTON — Health officials in New Brunswick reported three new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday and warned the province is home to two of Atlantic Canada's three biggest infection hot spots.

Two of the province's new cases are in the Saint John region, affecting someone in their 50s and someone in their 70s, and the sources of their infections are under investigation.

The other is a person in their 30s in the Bathurst region, and officials say that case is travel-related.

Officials say the province has 94 active cases of COVID-19 with one person in hospital and around 1,000 people in self-isolation. 

The province's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Jennifer Russell, flagged outbreaks in Saint John, Moncton as well as in Halifax in neighbouring Nova Scotia as major sources of concern.

She reminded residents that nobody should travel to those areas unless it's absolutely necessary. In particular, Russell said the confirmed community spread in Halifax makes any travel to the city extremely risky.

"Halifax is a short drive from here, and it is a very big hot spot right now, in terms of community transmission. So I am very concerned about the risks right now," she told a news conference. "It is a very, very difficult situation there with community transmission making it very, very serious."

Russell said with cases still under investigation in Saint John and Moncton, it's too early to determine if there is community spread in those regions.

With "record numbers" of people self-isolating in New Brunswick, Russell asked residents to prepare a self-isolation plan and to keep a record of the names and phone numbers of those with whom they are in close contact.

Health Minister Dorothy Shephard said one new case was confirmed at a Shannex nursing home in the Parkland Saint John complex on Wednesday morning. Public health officials declared an outbreak at the facility on Friday and as of Sunday, three residents and one employee had tested positive.  

"We've just done another round of testing (at the facility), so we'll know by tomorrow morning how they all turn out," Shephard said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.

The Canadian Press