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COVID-19: N.B. reports record-breaking 237 new cases, expands booster eligibility

Click to play video: 'New Brunswick forecasts 200+ case days in the new year' New Brunswick forecasts 200+ case days in the new year
As COVID-19’s Omicron variant runs rampant outside its borders, New Brunswick moves to tighten restrictions. Officials saying modelling suggests staggering case numbers in the new year. Travis Fortnum reports – Dec 21, 2021

New Brunswick reported a record-breaking 237 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.

This is the highest daily case count since the pandemic began, and breaks the daily record of 177 set just last week.

To date, 86 cases have been confirmed to be the Omicron variant.

The province said a person in their 60s has died in Zone 3 (Fredericton region) from the virus.

Read more: Atlantic premiers urge caution over holiday season to slow the spread of COVID-19

Public health also reported 98 recoveries.

“The high number of cases today is not surprising. We are seeing the same thing happen in jurisdictions around us, which is why it is critical that people follow public health measures,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, in a news release.

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“I know people are tired, but it is the small things we all do to reduce contacts which can help slow the spread. In addition, wear a mask that fits properly, keep physically distant, only go out when you absolutely need to, and book your booster vaccine as soon as you are eligible.

There are now 40 people in hospital, including 17 in intensive care. Eleven patients are on a ventilator.

The province is set to move to Level 2 of its winter plan, which includes stricter restrictions, on Dec. 27.

Booster dose eligibility expands

The province also expanded its booster dose eligibility to “further protect health-care and education facilities.”

The immediate household family members of anyone working in a long-term care facility, hospital or school are now eligible for a third dose. So are people working in child-care facilities and their immediate family members.

In all these cases, the person receiving the booster must be age 18 and older and 158 days must have passed since their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

So far, 82.7 per cent of eligible New Brunwickers are fully vaccinated, 89.7 per cent have received their first dose and 15.6 per cent have received a booster shot.

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