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COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Atlantic Canada with fourth wave of virus

HALIFAX — The surge in COVID-19 cases is continuing in Atlantic Canada, led by an outbreak in New Brunswick where health officials reported 85 new infections and one virus-related death Friday.
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HALIFAX — The surge in COVID-19 cases is continuing in Atlantic Canada, led by an outbreak in New Brunswick where health officials reported 85 new infections and one virus-related death Friday.

Officials confirmed that a person aged over 90 had died in the Moncton area, bringing the total number of deaths in the province due to novel coronavirus to 60 since the beginning of the pandemic.

"On behalf of all New Brunswickers ... I extend heartfelt condolences to those mourning the loss of their loved one,” Premier Blaine Higgs said in a news release. "Hearing of these losses never gets easier, nor should it."

The new cases on Friday followed the province's single-day high of 99 reported on Thursday. New Brunswick currently has 677 active cases with 41 people in hospital due to the virus, including 15 patients in intensive care.

In Nova Scotia, officials reported 77 new cases of COVID-19 since the province's last update on Wednesday.

The majority of the cases, 51, were in the Halifax area, where officials have identified community spread, primarily among people aged between 20 and 40 who are unvaccinated and go out to socialize. 

Of the 4,953 cases identified in Nova Scotia between March 15 and Sept. 29, officials said 90 per cent involved people who were unvaccinated. The province currently has 240 active cases of novel coronavirus with 11 people in hospital, including four in intensive care.

On Friday, the professional association representing Nova Scotia physicians said it supports the Canadian Medical Association's call for mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for all health workers. Doctors Nova Scotia said its stance is in line with the province's decision this week to mandate vaccination for health workers.

"Doctors and all others who work in a health-care setting have an obligation to keep our patients safe and set an example for the public, showing that vaccines are safe and effective," association president Dr. Heather Johnson said in a news release.

Newfoundland and Labrador reported 41 new cases and two more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus since the province's last update on Wednesday.

The deaths, the province's ninth and 10th, involved a man in the central health region and a woman in the eastern health region who were both 70 years of age or older. 

The new cases included 31 in the central health region, where a third cluster was confirmed in the Bishop's Falls-Botwood area in addition to clusters in the Baie Verte and Twillingate areas. The remaining 10 cases were identified in the eastern region, which includes St. John's.

Newfoundland and Labrador has 180 active reported cases of COVID-19 and seven people in hospital with the disease, including four in critical care. 

Meanwhile, officials in Prince Edward Island said the province is set to implement its proof of COVID-19 vaccination pass on Tuesday. They said the Island's pass is aligned for use with similar vaccination passes in Canada, particularly in neighbouring Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. 

People can print a paper record of their vaccination status or download a screen capture for use on their phone. Beginning Oct. 15, they will be able to access a QR code online that will be suitable for international travel.

The province reported three new COVID-19 cases Friday involving one person in their 20s, one in their 60s and one in their 70s. All three had recently travelled outside of P.E.I. The province has 11 active cases of COVID-19 and has had 302 positive cases since the pandemic began.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 1, 2021.

Keith Doucette, The Canadian Press

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