HALIFAX -- Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting nine new COVID-19 cases Saturday, and encouraging residents to get vaccinated this weekend.

In the interest of achieving a 75 per cent first-dose vaccination goal set out by the province's "path to green" reopening plan, the province says an average of 14,800 people need to get vaccinated per day.

"We are calling on all New Brunswickers to help us reach this goal. Please take time this weekend to get your first shot," said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. "We know that people will want to spend time outdoors with the warm weather, but it is important that people get vaccinated now so we can gather together in the future."

The province suggests visiting walk-in vaccine clinics, booking online through Vitalité or Horizon Health Network clinics, or by contacting a participating pharmacy.

NINE NEW CASES

Of Saturday's nine new cases, the province says three are in the Moncton region (Zone 1). They involve a person 19 or under, a person in their 50s, and one in their 60s. One is a close contact of a previously reported case, and two are under investigation.

Four cases are in the Fredericton region (Zone 3). They involve two in their 40s, one in their 50s, and one in their 70s. Two are close contacts of previously reported cases, and two are under investigation.

Two new cases are in the Bathurst region (Zone 6) and involve a person in their 20s, and a person 90 or older. Both are close contacts of a previously confirmed case.

CASE DATA

There have now been 2,262 cumulative COVID-19 cases in New Brunswick, 2,068 recoveries, and 44 deaths.

The active total now stands at 149.

On Friday, the province's labs conducted 1,337 tests for a total of 342,212 since the pandemic began.

Five people are in hospital: four in New Brunswick, including one in an intensive care unit. There is one New Brunswicker hospitalized out-of-province, in an ICU.

ZONE REMINDER

As of Saturday, all New Brunswick zones remain in the yellow level of recovery.