New Brunswick officials announced 23 cases of COVID-19 in the province on Saturday, setting a single-day high since the start of the pandemic.
The new cases bring the total of active infections in the province to 71, and one person is in the hospital related to the virus.
New Brunswick now has 424 confirmed cases of coronavirus. There have been 347 recoveries and six deaths.
Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province’s chief medical officer of health, said New Brunswickers are facing a situation that can quickly turn “serious” without immediate action.
“We need a renewed commitment to slow the spread of COVID-19, and we need it now,” she told a news conference on Saturday afternoon.
On Friday, 1,214 tests were conducted, for a total of 115,234 since the start of the pandemic in March.
The new cases include 16 in the Saint John region (Zone 2), six in the Moncton region (Zone 1) and one in the Fredericton region (Zone 3).
The uptick in new infections is the most since Oct. 10, when officials reported 20 new cases as the Campbellton region grappled with an outbreak.
Both the Moncton and Saint John regions were rolled back to tighter restrictions under the orange recovery phase this week.
Entire province could go orange
Premier Blaine Higgs indicated the entire province could move to orange-level restrictions if the rise in cases continues.
He told reporters that the current increase is a “reality check” that the virus exists in the province.
“We are now in our own bubble in New Brunswick,” he said. “And that bubble is about to burst.”
Public Health also declared an outbreak on Friday following a case of COVID-19 at Shannex: Tucker Hall, a nursing home in Saint John.
The facility reported three more cases, for a total of four. Three residents and one employee have tested positive, according to an update on the home’s website.