New Brunswick sets another record for daily increase in COVID-19 cases: 86

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FREDERICTON — The COVID-19 case count continues to rise in New Brunswick, where health officials reported 86 new cases Monday — another record daily high since the pandemic began.

Premier Blaine Higgs reimposed a state of emergency on Friday after a senior health official admitted the province made a mistake by lifting all health protection measures — including mask wearing — on July 30.

With an active caseload of 650 as of Monday, the province was treating 41 patients in hospital — 16 of them in intensive care. Health officials confirmed that 78 per cent of the new cases were among those not fully vaccinated.

"The surge in COVID-19 cases is causing delays at assessment centres throughout the province and leading to longer-than-anticipated wait times for appointments and test results," the province said in a statement Monday.

New cases were reported in six of the province's seven health regions, and about two-thirds of all cases were among people under the age of 40. As well, positive cases have been confirmed since Friday in schools and child-care facilities in and around Moncton and Edmundston.

New Brunswick has resumed health protection measures aimed at limiting contacts, ensuring physical distancing and requiring certain businesses and events to have vaccination or masking-and-testing policies.

Under the new rules, masks must be worn in indoor public spaces and people must show proof of full vaccination when attending certain events and businesses.

In Nova Scotia, health officials reported 83 new cases between Saturday and Monday — and the death of a central Nova Scotia man in his 80s.

Most of the new cases, 65 in all, were reported in the central zone, which includes Halifax.

"There is community spread in central zone, primarily among people aged 20 to 40 who are unvaccinated and participating in social activities," the province said in a statement.

The province also confirmed Monday that it will begin daily reporting of the number of schools with cases, starting Tuesday. Some parents had complained about the lack of disclosure, and one group had started compiling their own statistics.

"The actions of every single Nova Scotian are critical right now," Premier Tim Houston said in a statement. "Everyone has a role to play to keep this virus under control."

As of Monday, Nova Scotia had 205 active cases, with 11 people in hospital — one of them in intensive care.

The province's state of emergency, which includes mandatory mask wearing in indoor public places, has remained in place since the pandemic was declared in March 2020.

On the weekend, however, thousands of students from Dalhousie University in Halifax attended street parties that violated COVID-19 protocols. Photos from the gatherings show few people wearing masks or practising physical distancing.

On Monday, health officials said those students should stay away from classes for one week and get tested, because even fully vaccinated people can be infected and later spread the virus.

COVID-19 health orders in Nova Scotia forbid informal social gatherings of more than 50 people outdoors.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, health officials reported one death linked to COVID-19 on Monday, and 25 new cases.

Since the pandemic began, a total of eight people in the province have died after getting infected with the virus. The latest victim was identified as a man from the province's central region who was in his 60s.

Twenty-two new infections were reported in the central region and three were in the eastern region. The new cases include 13 people under the age of 40.

Of the 155 active cases reported in Newfoundland and Labrador, three involved people in hospital. The province's total number of cases has risen to 1,717.

Meanwhile, an investigation continues into the source of a cluster of cases in the central region, which now includes 77 cases in Baie Verte and 50 in Twillingate and nearby New World Island. Another cluster in Labrador has 21 confirmed cases. And an investigation into a cluster of eight cases in the western region has proven inconclusive.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 27, 2021.

— By Michael MacDonald in Halifax

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version included Fredericton among areas with new school and child-care cases, but the New Brunswick Health Department has since revised that.

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