New Brunswick is reporting 17 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, all in the Moncton region (Zone 1). There are now 22 active cases in the province.
The 17 new cases are a single-day high in the province, surpassing the 15 new cases reported on March 28.
Premier Blaine Higgs told reporters the outbreak shows that people need to be more vigilant. "We hoped this day wouldn't come, but here we are," Higgs said.
"This situation highlights just how serious our current situation is and how serious this pandemic continues to be. It's easy to forget when our numbers are low."
On Tuesday, the province reported an outbreak of COVID-19 at Manoir Notre-Dame, a special-care home in Moncton, which has 112 residents and 56 employees.
There were two cases reported on Tuesday and Wednesday's cases bring the total connected to the facility to 19. That includes 13 residents and four workers at Notre-Dame Manor and two family members who were in close contact.
Two residents of Manoir Notre-Dame are currently in hospital in stable condition.
"We have launched a co-ordinated response to care for those who have become infected and protect those that the virus has not yet touched," said Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health.
The cases at that care home involve 13 residents, four health-care workers and two family members of an infected resident, she said. Most of the residents at the care home are in individual rooms and the affected people are isolating, she said.
Russell said it's still too early to determine a source of the outbreak, but said the majority of cases in the province have resulted from people who travelled outside the Atlantic region and brought the virus back without knowing it.
POSSIBLE EXPOSURE AT TWO PUBLIC LOCATIONS
New Brunswick public health was also warning the public about the potential for exposure to people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Optical centre, Costco Moncton:
Oct. 1 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Oct. 2 from 12:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Oct. 5 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
St-Hubert restaurant, Moncton:
Oct. 3 from 11:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 4 from 11:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Higgs said people should not be taking chances and should keep Thanksgiving celebrations small.
The premier said the issue of mandatory mask use in public places will be discussed when the all-party COVID cabinet committee meets Thursday.
Interim Liberal Leader Roger Melanson -- who will take part in that meeting -- has an aunt who lives at the Notre-Dame manor. He said Wednesday he didn't know if she has tested positive or negative.
"We need to keep taking this virus very seriously," Melanson told reporters in Fredericton.
"For the people that are living in that manor and the people working in that institution, we are thinking about you, and stay calm. Public Health and the health professionals are there to help and to deal with this situation."
Melanson said he'll support any move toward making mask-wearing mandatory in public places.
"I strongly believe that the mask is a tool to minimize the spread of this virus, not only to protect ourselves but to protect others," Melanson said.
COVID-19 CASES IN NEW BRUNSWICK
New Brunswick has had 222 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of those, 198 are recovered and two people have died.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases are broken down by New Brunswick’s seven health zones:
Zone 1 – Moncton region: 67 confirmed cases (20 active case)
Zone 2 – Saint John region: 30 confirmed cases (2 active cases)
Zone 3 – Fredericton region: 58 confirmed cases
Zone 4 – Edmundston region: 8 confirmed cases
Zone 5 – Campbellton region: 53 confirmed cases
Zone 6 – Bathurst region: 3 confirmed cases
Zone 7 – Miramichi region: 3 confirmed cases
The province recently announced that residents can take an online self-assessment if they are experiencing mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms.
On Monday, the province completed 549 COVID-19 tests. To date, a total of 81,696 tests have been conducted in the province.
POTENTIAL FLIGHT EXPOSURE
On Tuesday, New Brunswick public health advised of the following potential exposure on a pair of flights from Mexico City to Moncton.
Air Canada Flight 0992 – from Mexico City to Toronto on Sept. 29; and
Air Canada Flight 8910 – from Toronto to Moncton on Sept. 30.
Individuals who travelled on these flights should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days after the flight. Should symptoms develop, they are directed to self-isolate and to call 811.
VEHICLE TRAFFIC INFORMATION
New Brunswick's online dashboard also includes information about vehicle traffic attempting to enter the New Brunswick border.
On Wednesday, 7,301 personal and 4,191 commercial vehicles attempted to cross the border into the province.
Of the vehicles attempting to cross the border, 42 were refused entry, for a refusal rate of 0.4 per cent.
With files from The Canadian Press.