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Nova Scotia health officials closely watching New Brunswick's COVID-19 cases

·2 min read

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia's chief medical officer said Thursday he is keeping a close eye on rising COVID-19 cases in New Brunswick, a week after that province lifted all of its pandemic-related health restrictions.

Dr. Robert Strang said there is a cluster of cases in the Moncton, N.B., area among unvaccinated young people.

"We're watching that very carefully," Strang said. "It's not a surprise. It's another example of where we see the Delta variant take hold is when you have under-immunized populations and quite frankly, it's often in the younger populations."

New Brunswick health officials reported 13 new cases on Thursday, and all except one involve people in their 20s. In its news release, the province didn't provide the vaccination status of the people tied to those cases. The province lifted all public health orders at 11:59 p.m. on July 30 and since then, authorities have reported 42 new infections — 32 of which are in Moncton.

Of the 13 cases announced Thursday, nine were in Moncton and involve people in their 20s. One infection was linked to a previously identified case, but authorities were still chasing down the source of the remaining cases. There are 51 active reported COVID-19 cases in the province.

Nova Scotia reported four new infections Thursday and a total of 15 active cases.

If the situation in New Brunswick gets worse, Strang said Nova Scotia health officials have a number of options to consider, such as bringing back travel restrictions.

"To me it emphasizes the message that I've been continuing to drive home," he said. "All eligible Nova Scotians, 12 and above, we need you to get two doses of vaccine and do it as quickly as possible. That is our defence against the delta variant taking hold here in Nova Scotia."

Nova Scotia, however, is leading the Atlantic region in vaccinations, with 73 per cent of residents aged 12 and older fully vaccinated, according to data from COVID-19 Tracker Canada, a website run by volunteers who compile data released by federal and provincial health authorities. More than 85 per cent of eligible residents have received at least one dose.

In New Brunswick, more than 68 per cent of residents aged 12 and older are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 82.5 per cent have received at least one dose. In Newfoundland and Labrador, 61 per cent of the eligible population is fully vaccinated, and in Prince Edward Island, 57 per cent of residents 12 and over have received two shots.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 5, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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