New Brunswick reports record-breaking 75 COVID-19 cases Sunday

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Health officials in New Brunswick reported 75 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday — the highest single-day count the province has had since the onset of the pandemic.

A total of 199 cases of the disease were recorded over the weekend in New Brunswick, bringing the active case count to 484, chief medical officer Dr. Jennifer Russell said Monday.

It comes as the province's proof of vaccination requirement is set to begin Tuesday night at midnight for those who wish to enter recreational establishments or long-term care facilities.

And along with proof of vaccination, officials said masking in public indoor spaces — including businesses, places of worship and restaurants — will also go into effect Tuesday night.

"It's not about the volume of cases," Russell said. "It's about who's getting infected and the impact that this is having on our already strained health-care system."

The majority of new infections are chiefly among those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, Russell said. Of the 199 cases, 152 of them, or 76 per cent, were not fully vaccinated. The province's vaccination rate now sits at nearly 78 per cent for fully vaccinated New Brunswickers and close to 87 per cent for those who've received their first dose.

Dealing with the waves of the pandemic has been much like dancing, Russell said, and health officials have been doing their best to keep in step.

"When you are dancing and things are changing, you have to step back and move forward with the music. This is what's happening with COVID-19," she said. "COVID-19 really is controlling the setting of that music and pretending that it's not there would be disastrous for all of us."

Officials also reported a series of COVID cases connected to schools in the Moncton, Edmundston and Campbellton regions.

Nova Scotia reported 55 new cases of COVID-19 since health officials last released an update on Friday, including a number of younger people who are unvaccinated and participating in social activities.

Thirty-four of the cases are identified in the Halifax area, where officials said there are signs of community spread among people aged 20 to 40 who haven't received their vaccines.

Thirteen of the cases are in the northern health zone where there remains a large cluster of linked cases in a "defined, unvaccinated group" which hasn't been identified.

Officials said five other cases are in western zone, with the remaining three in the eastern zone, which includes Cape Breton.

As of Monday, the province had 129 active cases of novel coronavirus, including eight people in hospital.

Meanwhile, a case of COVID-19 was also identified in a long-term care facility in Halifax where the city had one of its largest outbreaks of the disease during the early months of the pandemic.

In an interview, Northwood CEO Janet Simm said a staff member was identified as a positive COVID-19 case last week through the facility's routine screening.

Simm said Northwood completed its contact tracing protocol and residents where the staff member worked would remain in their unit.

Recent tests done on both staff and residents have come back negative.

She was not able to confirm whether the staff member was fully vaccinated against the disease due to privacy reasons, though noted more than 88 per cent of the facility's more than 400 staff are fully vaccinated.

Last spring, more than 50 residents at the facility died during a COVID-19 outbreak that affected a total of 246 residents and 114 staff members.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, officials identified 15 new cases since their last advisory on Friday.

Monday's total included 11 cases in the central health region and four cases related to travel in the eastern health region, which includes St. John's.

Over this past weekend, health officials said a number of COVID-19 cases were identified at White Bay Retirement Living in Baie Verte. A total of 10 cases are currently linked to the facility.

All residents and staff have been tested and are advised to quarantine with the source of the virus under investigation.

There are currently 46 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, with one person in hospital due to the virus.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 17, 2021.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press

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