Chief Medical Officer of Health – Dr Jennifer Russell

Yesterday’s spike in confirmed COVID cases is raising concern about the potential for increased numbers following holiday gatherings. Ten cases – all in the Fredericton Central region – were confirmed in a 24-hour period. Chief Medical Officer of Health – Dr Jennifer Russell – says “we suspect a number of these cases are connected.” She says rigorous contact tracing is underway to confirm those suspicions – and – they are assessing the situation to see if further action is needed to control the spread.

As of yesterday – 18 of the 34-active cases of COVID in the province are listed in the Fredericton Central zone.

Given the numbers and Dr Russell’s comments – reached out to Public Health to determine if the cases are clustered in a specific area of the Fredericton Zone since it covers about a third of the province – and – if the cases could be connected to a so called “Super Spreader” event. We received the following response from a Health Department spokesperson:

“All today’s cases are in Zone 3; we do not release the cities/towns that they are in to protect the privacy of the patients. Yes, while some are connected, we are still investigating and contact tracing continues to take place at this time. We’ll know more in the coming days.”

Events at two venues on the same night in November were dubbed “Super Spreader” events and blamed for a significant outbreak of COVID cases in Saint John including the Shannex complex in Millidgeville. The increase in cases led to the region being moved into the Orange Level with tighter restrictions and enforcement to contain the outbreak. The region moved back to the Yellow Level on December 10th.