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Public Health says two cases of the COVID South African variant have been confirmed in the Saint John region. These are the first cases of the South African variant in the province. One case is related to travel while the other is a contact of that travel case.

This is the second COVID variant identified in the province – the other is the U-K variant which has been at the centre of the outbreak in the Edmundston region. Chief Medical Officer of Health – Dr Jennifer Russell – says “These new variants are more contagious, so it is important that we take the necessary precautions now to reduce the transmission of the virus and any of its variants in our communities.”

Ten new cases are being reported since yesterday – four in the Moncton region with one case related to travel while the other three are under investigation. The other 6 cases are in the Edmundston region with 2 of the cases contacts of previously confirmed cases while the other 4 are under investigation.

Public Health says 13 people have recovered since yesterday with the number of active cases now at 145 including 7 here in the Saint John region. Eighteen people are in hospital with 13 of them in intensive care units. The COVID death toll remains at 33.