HALIFAX -- Officials in New Brunswick are urging people to stay home as they report three new presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 11.

Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province’s chief medical officer of health, announced the new cases during a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

She says the new cases affect the following people:

  • A woman between the ages of 50 and 60. She lives in southeast New Brunswick. She was on a cruise.
  • A man between the ages of 60 and 70. He lives in central New Brunswick. He was in contact with a traveller.
  • A woman between the ages of 50 and 60. She lives in central New Brunswick. She travelled to the United Kingdom.

As the cases rise, Russell and Premier Blaine Higgs are urging citizens to stay home and practise social-distancing to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“The spread of covid-19 is a serious health threat,” said Russell. “Now is not the time for house parties. Stay home. It is not the time for teenagers to hang out with their friends.”

Higgs echoed the message, sternly noting that these measures are not voluntary.

“People should stay home whenever possible, I cannot stress that enough,” said Higgs.

“No play dates; no sleepovers; family visits only when required. Enjoy the fresh air, but avoid doing it in groups, and keep six feet away from others when you absolutely need to go somewhere.”

Higgs also warned that, if people do not act as advised, additional measures may be taken to ensure that everyone follows the Public Health recommendations.

“This is short-term pain for long term gain. This is reality like we have never seen before and we must react,” said Higgs.

“We will do what is necessary to keep residents safe.”

Liquor and cannabis corporations in New Brunswick have reduced hours, but are allowed to stay open. Restaurants are also allowed to stay open, but only at 50 per cent capacity.

All other non-essential businesses are being urged to close.