MONCTON, N.B. -- New Brunswick public health is seemingly blaming younger generations for the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in the province.

As of Monday, the province was reporting 48 active cases in the Moncton region. 

Since the mandatory order was lifted July 31, business owners in the downtown core say the nightlife has returned to the Hub City.

"The whole Robinson Court is full again now like it used to be. People go bar-to-bar and people are a little less scared to go out now that COVID is dying down," says The Furnace Room bar owner, Sebastien Pinto.

While Pinto is pleased to see the boom in business, he says he does have concerns about the crowd coming through his doors. Of the 48 cases in Zone 1, 46 are individuals who are not fully vaccinated and 90 per cent of the cases are under the age of 40.

"It does affect our business because later at night we do get that younger crowd; early thirties, late twenties I'd say and obviously, those are the most with no vaccine."

The vaccination status of infected individuals has not been a common detail shared by public health in past reports.

"I think they are pushing our generation to go out and get their vaccinations for sure," says Pinto.
As the number of active cases across the province continues to rise, the vaccination rate climbs at a slow pace.

Residents in Moncton say they're disappointed with the younger demographics not stepping up to get their shots.

"I don't know what's going on in their mind, but they should get vaccinated because that's the only way through this. That's the only way to living a normal life again here," says Dunisha Sandhu.

Juliet Young and her family were exploring downtown Moncton today as part of their vacation from their home in Ontario. The mom of two says she was surprised to learn the emergency order had been lifted and restrictions were no longer in place in New Brunswick. She says she was hesitant to go ahead with vacation plans, but decided she and her family would practice physical distancing and wearing masks when indoors, despite no mandatory order to do so.

"One of the reasons we feel OK doing it is because we noticed a small percentage of people doing it as well, and we don't know whether they're tourists. We questioned this, are they tourists or are they residents still being super cautious," says Young.

As of Monday, there are 66 active cases in New Brunswick.