COVID-19 cases crept up in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island Thursday, mostly among the young and unvaccinated.

Nova Scotia's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Nova Scotia's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

COVID-19 cases crept up in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island Thursday, mostly among the young and unvaccinated.

Health officials in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia reported double-digit caseloads, while Prince Edward Island reported eight new cases — seven of which were connected to an outbreak at a Charlottetown elementary school.

"All of these cases initially tested negative and then tested positive on a second or subsequent test," Dr. Heather Morrison, the Island's chief public health officer, told reporters Thursday. "I am concerned about this outbreak and the impact on children and families."

A man heads to receive a COVID-19 vaccination at a clinic in Halifax on April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

A man heads to receive a COVID-19 vaccination at a clinic in Halifax on April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

There are now 34 active reported cases of COVID-19 on the Island, "the highest number of active cases we've had at any one point since the pandemic began," Morrison said.

Public health is setting up a pop-up COVID-19 testing clinic on Friday for staff and students at West Royalty Elementary School in Charlottetown, the site of the outbreak, she added.

New Brunswick reported 51 new COVID infections Thursday, 47 of which — or 92 per cent — involved people who were not fully vaccinated. Officials said 35 of those cases, or 69 per cent, involved people under 40.

COVID-19 infections have been confirmed at six schools across the province and one child-care facility in the town of Riverview, near Moncton.

New Brunswick data indicates people between 12 and 39 lag in COVID-19 vaccination, with less than 78 per cent of residents in those age groups vaccinated with a first shot and less than 66 per cent fully vaccinated. By contrast, nearly 86 per cent of all eligible New Brunswickers have received at least one dose of vaccine and more than 77 per cent are fully vaccinated.

"It is imperative for New Brunswickers to get vaccinated, so now is the time to book your appointment at a regional health authority clinic or call a participating pharmacy," Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health, said in a news release Thursday.

New Brunswick has 336 active reported cases of COVID-19 and 15 people in hospital with the disease, including nine in intensive care.

Meanwhile, Nova Scotia reported 34 new cases Thursday, and officials said there was evidence of community spread among unvaccinated people between 20 and 40 years old in the province's central region.

Twenty-six new infections were in the northern region, where a large cluster of cases among unvaccinated people has been identified, the Health Department said in a news release, adding that more cases are expected from the group.

About 73 per cent of Nova Scotians are fully immunized against COVID-19, and 79 per cent have received at least one dose.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 16, 2021.