HALIFAX – All four Atlantic provinces reported new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, but the numbers remained relatively small.
Nova Scotia reported six cases, Newfoundland and Labrador added four, New Brunswick logged two and P.E.I. recorded three, for a total of 15 across the region.
In Nova Scotia, health officials said four of the six new cases were reported in the province’s central zone, which includes Halifax.
On Friday, the province extended tighter health restrictions in the Halifax region and Hants County until Dec. 16. Those restrictions, which stop just short of a full lockdown, were introduced Nov. 24 when health officials reported 37 new cases – 35 in the Halifax area.
The other new cases reported Saturday were in Nova Scotia’s eastern zone. The province now has 95 active cases, though none of those patients were in hospital.
Premier Stephen McNeil issued a brief statement asking residents to limit their social contacts to prevent the spread of the virus, which has claimed 65 lives in Nova Scotia.
“As we get into the holiday season, weekends are usually filled with friends, family and shopping, but this year must be different,” McNeil said. “We need to limit our social contacts and non-essential travel … That is how we protect each other and slow the spread of COVID-19.”
In Prince Edward Island, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said she was worried about a cluster of three new cases reported in Charlottetown – all of them women in their 20s who work in local restaurants.
“The fact that these are new cases unrelated to travel is concerning,” Morrison told a news conference in Charlottetown.
“It is too early to suggest that there is widespread community transmission. However, I am becoming increasingly concerned. Further decisions regarding additional public health measures in our province will be made in the next two or three days.”
P.E.I. Premier Dennis King urged Islanders to remain vigilant despite the province’s low number of infections – 73 since the pandemic began.
“I’m acutely aware of the COVID fatigue running through every family,” King said Saturday. “Now is the time to double down … with the finish line in sight.”
Meanwhile, health officials in Newfoundland and Labrador said its four new cases there were all women under the age of 50.
Two of those cases were young women from the same household in eastern Newfoundland, where a previous travel-related case was reported.
The third was a woman in her 40s from outside the province who came to eastern Newfoundland from Alberta after she was granted a travel exemption, officials said, adding the fourth was a woman under the age of 40 in the central zone whose infection is under investigation.
Health officials in Newfoundland and Labrador also confirmed that the two new cases reported on Friday were both travel-related. One person had travelled to the province from Alberta, and the other from Africa.
As of Saturday, Newfoundland and Labrador had 26 active cases of COVID-19, which are among the 347 cases reported since the pandemic was declared. Four people infected with the virus have died, another 317 have recovered and there was no one in hospital as of Saturday.
In New Brunswick, two newly identified cases included a person in their 50s in the Saint John region and a person in their 40s in the Edmundston region. No other details were released about the latest infections.
There were 98 active cases in the province as of Saturday, with one patient recovering in an intensive care unit. The number of confirmed cases reached 530, which includes seven deaths and 425 people who have recovered from the virus.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 5, 2020.