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'It's tough': Edmundston area remains COVID-19 hot spot in New Brunswick

FREDERICTON — Edmundston, N.B., deputy mayor Eric Marquis says the number of new cases reported each day in his region is depressing, but that residents are optimistic the numbers will begin to drop soon.
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FREDERICTON — Edmundston, N.B., deputy mayor Eric Marquis says the number of new cases reported each day in his region is depressing, but that residents are optimistic the numbers will begin to drop soon.

The hard-hit Edmundston region, part of which is under lockdown, had six of the nine new cases reported in the province on Monday. The Moncton, Fredericton and Bathurst areas each reported one new case.

"We are hoping to see cases going down in the upcoming days, at least at the end of this week, and hope we are going to be able to remove our region from lockdown," Marquis said in an interview Monday.

"We are seeing the cases that came after Easter," he added. "It is still going to take time to bring those cases down since it can take up to 14 days before we see some people develop the infection with COVID.

"It's tough on people. It's tough on their minds."

There are 158 active reported cases in the province and 21 patients are hospitalized with the disease, including eight in intensive care.

New Brunswick had administered more than 200,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine as of Monday, with 27.5 per cent of the eligible population 16 and over having received at least one dose.

A number of vaccination clinics were held in the Edmundston and Grand Falls, N.B., areas over the weekend.

"We need to still push on getting those vaccines here," Marquis said. "We know Edmundston is the door to the Maritimes and the Atlantic provinces. In order to get the province safe, we need to bring the cases down here in Edmundston."

Clinics are underway to provide a second vaccine dose to residents of long-term care homes; 4,900 second doses are to be administered at 339 facilities this week.

New Brunswick has reported a total of 1,797 COVID-19 infections and 33 deaths linked to the virus.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 19, 2021. 

Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press

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