Cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick are rising as the province approaches the holiday season. New Brunswick has a total of 119 active cases, the highest number of active cases in the province since the coronavirus reached Canada in March of this year.
On Monday, November 23, Newfoundland and PEI stated they will now require travellers from the other Atlantic Provinces to self-isolate for 14 days while they monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. As of Sunday, November 29, Newfoundland has 36 active cases while Prince Edward Island has 4 active cases.
As of Friday, November 27, New Brunswick pulled out of the Atlantic Bubble, effectively bursting the bubble. Nova Scotia is seeing a similar influx of cases, with 125 active cases.
The closure of the Atlantic Bubble comes in the face of increasing case numbers across Canada, with officials stating that Canada may reach a national total of 10 000 positive cases a day by the end of December if more restrictions are not put in place.
Atlantic Canada has made headlines worldwide, as the relatively low case numbers have contrasted heavily with higher case numbers across the rest of Canada and the world.
In earlier stages of the pandemic, New Brunswick had minor outbreaks in the Moncton and Campbellton regions, but the most recent outbreak has seen the whole south of the province return to the Orange Phase.
Orange Phase requires households to restrict contact to their one household bubble, masks must be worn in all indoor and outdoor public spaces, and travel in and out of Orange zones is discouraged for all non-essential travel.
Saint John leads in the number of active cases for cities in New Brunswick with 72 active cases. Fredericton has 15 active cases, Moncton has 26 cases, and Bathurst has 3 cases.
Cases continue to rise at a retirement complex in Saint John. The Shannex Parkland is reporting 15 cases (10 residents, 5 employees). While the source of the Shannex outbreak has not been identified, the spread in Saint John has been linked to a ‘super-spreader’ event in which an individual travelled between numerous locations in New Brunswick. The individual claims he was told he was not required to isolate after travelling from Calgary.
New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs has indicated law enforcement will continue enforcing pandemic rules, with officers checking in that businesses are following Covid-operation protocol. Dr. Jennifer Russell maintains that, in order to combat this virus, New Brunswick residents must follow protocol.
"It is not possible to know who is carrying the virus, so it is best to assume at all times that everyone around you is infected and act accordingly," she said on December 1.