COVID-19: N.B. reports 1 death, record-breaking 265 cases on Christmas Eve

Click to play video: 'New Brunswick to move to Level 2 of COVID-19 winter plan on Dec. 27'
New Brunswick to move to Level 2 of COVID-19 winter plan on Dec. 27
New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs said Tuesday that the province would move to Level 2 of its COVID-19 winter plan on Dec. 27, which will result in a decrease in gathering limits to 10 individuals. Higgs said restaurants would be limited to 50 per cent capacity and that gyms, salons and spas and entertainment centres will remain open, though with mandatory proof of vaccination – Dec 21, 2021

New Brunswick reported 265 new cases of COVID-19 — a new one-day record — and one additional death from the virus on Friday.

In a release, the province said a person in their 70s in the Saint John region has died.

Of the new cases, 85 are in Zone 1, the Moncton region, 87 are in Zone 2, the Saint John region, 39 are in Zone 3, the Fredericton region, 23 are in zone 4, the Edmunston region, five are in Zone 5, the Campbellton region, five are in Zone 6, the Bathurst region, and 11 are in Zone 7, the Miramichi region.

The province has reported 147 cases of the Omicron variant so far. At least one case of the variant has been identified in all seven health zones and none of these cases are hospitalized.

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“While hospitalizations to date involving the Omicron variant remain relatively stable, exponential growth in cases continues to put healthcare at risk, not just due to COVID-19 but for all other healthcare needs,” the release said.

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“For everyone’s health, New Brunswickers are asked to do all they can, including, if possible, limiting movement and contacts, to help slow the spread of the virus, which is in all areas of the province.”

There are a total of 34 people in hospital, 15 of whom are in intensive care. Twelve people are on a ventilator. Of those in hospital, 21 are over the age of 60.

The province said so far, 82.8 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, 89.9 per cent have received their first dose of a vaccine and 17.8 per cent have received a booster dose.

All of New Brunswick is currently in the Level 1 phase of the winter plan to manage COVID-19. More information on the plan, including the additional temporary measures, is available online.

“New Brunswickers are reminded to protect our most vulnerable, to keep holiday gatherings as small as possible and use rapid tests to slow and reduce the spread of COVID-19, particularly the more contagious Omicron variant,” the release said.

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The province said it will not release new case numbers on Christmas Day or Boxing Day, so the next update will come on Dec. 27.

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