HALIFAX -- There are no new cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick despite the province performing the largest one-day volume of tests on Thursday.

"We did a total of 586, more tests, and this is our largest one day volume since the beginning of this event," Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health, said during a news conference in Fredericton.

It's the fourth time in the last week that the province has reported no new cases.

Overall, the province has performed 9,900 tests and only 1.1 per cent of those have led to a positive result.

The province's total remains at 117 and Dr. Russell once again encouraged New Brunswickers to keep doing what they are doing -- because it is working.

"We must not give this virus any breaks," Dr. Russell said. "Everyone needs to keep doing what they're doing, our neighbours all around us and other jurisdictions, don't have that kind of good news to report."

Dr. Russell said she is not at all worried about sounding repetitive by reminding people to wash their hands regularly and thoroughly, to not touch their face, to stay home as much as possible, and to practise physical distancing when you do go out.

She also suggested wearing a non-medical mask that covers the mouth and nose when physical distancing is not possible.

"What we do collectively matters, but what we do individually matters more," Dr. Russell said. "Please keep making good choices for your own health and for the health of others."

New Brunswickers are urged to continue to monitor themselves and their families for the symptoms of COVID-19:

  • fever above 38°C;
  • a new cough or worsening chronic cough;
  • sore throat;
  • runny nose; and
  • headache.

New Brunswick public health is advising anyone experiencing two or more of these symptoms to contact 811 and follow the direction provided.

“If we all remain vigilant against this disease, and consistent in our practices to limit its spread, we can continue to have good outcomes,” said Russell. “If we let down our guard, the virus will take advantage and resume its spread through our communities. We have seen the tragic consequences of this in other jurisdictions around the world. No one wants that to happen here.”

Premier Blaine Higgs seconded Dr. Russell's comments.

“We cannot make the mistake of going back to our regular lives too early,” said Higgs. “If we do, we could see a resurgence of cases. We all have to continue to play our part.”

Higgs said that even when current restrictions are reduced, things won't go back to the way they were before.

“We are not at the point where non-essential businesses can reopen, but it is important that they take these factors into account as they plan for the future,” said Higgs. “I encourage business leaders to start considering how they can reopen once it’s safe to do so, while taking new measures to protect the health of their patrons.”

When asked when restrictions will be eased, Dr. Russell used the analogy of skydiving and compared the parachute a skydiver uses to land safely on the ground to the public health measures New Brunswick has put in place.

"We haven't reached the ground yet, so keep your parachute on," Dr. Russell said.

Of the 117 cases previously confirmed, 66 are travel-related, 42 are close contacts of confirmed cases and nine are the result of community transmission.

During the pandemic, 13 people have been hospitalized and eight have since been discharged. Three of the five patients remaining in hospital are in an intensive care unit. To date, 83 people have recovered.

This is a developing story. It will be updated.