HALIFAX -- The Campbellton region of New Brunswick has three new confirmed cases of COVID-19, and with the highest COVID-19 rate in Atlantic Canada, it will have more restrictions as of midnight Thursday. Meanwhile, the Moncton region has brought its outbreak under control and will return to the yellow phase.

"As of midnight tonight, residents of Zone 5 will have to limit their contact to a single-household bubble, plus formal or informal caregivers and members of their immediate family (parents, children, siblings and grand-parents)," Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health, said Thursday afternoon.

The added measure is being put in place to bring the outbreak in Zone 5 under control because infection rates are too high and causing great concern to public health staff.

"This is one of the measures that we know will help stop the spread of the virus," Dr. Russell said.

New Brunswick is seeing 14 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people, Dr. Russell said. During the outbreak in Zone 1 (Moncton region) the local rate was 18.49 per 100,000 and in Zone 5, the ratio is 245 cases per 100,000.

"That's really in a 12-kilometre radius," said Dr. Russell, who added that the national rate is 61 cases per 100,000.

"That's why we are so concerned," she said. "These figures illustrate why we need to get this outbreak under control as quickly as we can. This is deeply concerning to my team."

Dr. Russell also announded that there are three new cases in Zone 5. One person is in their 40s and two people are in their 50s. All three cases are under investigation.

As of midnight Thursday, the Moncton region (Zone 1) will return to the yellow phase.

Mass COVID-19 testing event to be held in Campbellton region

Residents of New Brunswick’s Campbellton region (Zone 5) have been invited to a mass COVID-19 testing event this weekend.

New Brunswick’s Vitalité Health Network will be hosting two days of COVID-19 testing on Saturday and Sunday in Campbellton and Dalhousie.

The health network says the objective of the mass testing is to get an accurate picture of the current outbreak in the region.

As of Wednesday, 57 of New Brunswick's 92 active cases were reported in Zone 5. 

Several schools in the area have also reported positive COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks.

Testing will be held on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Campbellton’s Memorial Regional Civic Centre and again on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Dalhousie’s Inch Arran Arena.

No appointment is needed, but residents must bring their health card. Screening will be done on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Anyone who is displaying any symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend the mass testing event and is instead asked to request a test online or call Tele-Care 811 to get an appointment at the nearest screening centre.

Test results will be available on the MyHealthNB website within five to seven days.