FREDERICTON — Health officials in New Brunswick reported five more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, which brings the total number of deaths linked to the pandemic in the province to 80.
Chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell says the pandemic's fourth wave, fuelled by the Delta variant, is hitting the province harder than at any point during the pandemic.
"It's important to remember the numbers we report every day are people," Russell said in a statement Wednesday.
The new deaths involve a person in their 60s in the Saint John region, a person in their 50s and someone in their 80s in the Fredericton area, a person in their 80s in the Campbellton region and a person in their 80s in the Bathurst area.
Health officials also reported 82 new cases of COVID-19. New Brunswick has 1,074 active reported cases.
Of the new cases reported Wednesday, half involved people who were fully vaccinated.
"As a higher percentage of the population gets vaccinated, and as the virus moves across the province, it is expected that we will see more cases in vaccinated people," Russell said of the 41 fully vaccinated people who had caught the virus.
She added, however, that there will be fewer overall cases among the vaccinated population compared with those who are unvaccinated. And she said there will also be fewer vaccinated people getting seriously ill and hospitalized compared to unvaccinated people who catch the virus.
As of Wednesday, 81.6 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers were fully vaccinated with two shots of COVID-19 vaccine, and 90.9 per cent had received at least one dose. There were 68 people hospitalized with the disease, including 27 in intensive care.
All New Brunswick hospitals have instituted protocols permitting them to postpone non-urgent medical procedures and redeploy staff to maintain emergency operations.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 13, 2021.
Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version used an inaccurate figure provided by the Health Department — 42 — for the number of new cases among fully vaccinated people.