'Hot, red rash' still unexplained as NBCC building plans to reopen

The source of an unexplained rash that affected six students and a staff member at NBCC's Allied Health Education Centre in Saint John still remains a mystery two weeks later.

The Allied Health Centre will reopen next week while authorities continue to investigate cause

The Allied Health Education Centre is planning to reopen after being closed for two week following an outbreak of an unexplained rash. (Shane Fowler/CBC)

The source of an unexplained rash remains a mystery two weeks after it shuttered a Saint John campus building. 

The New Brunswick Community College's Allied Health Centre, located on the college's Saint John campus, has been closed since Oct. 26 while authorities investigate the illness.

But it is slated to be reopened November 14 after extensive cleaning. 

Tammie Fournier, the interim department head of Allied Health, says authorities have yet to identify the cause of a rash that closed the centre, but it will reopen Nov. 14 after extensive cleaning. (Shane Fowler/CBC)
"Unfortunately, we don't have an answer," said Tammie Fornier, interim department head of Allied Health.

"We wish we did."

Fornier said WorkSafe NB and the province's public health department are working to find and answer. 

"However, it eludes us," she said. 

Described by Fornier as a "hot, red rash," the illness sent some of the six students and a staff member affected to the hospital. They've since been released. 

Building disinfected 

Closure signs remain on all entrances of the Allied Health Education Centre on University of New Brunswick Saint John campus. (Shane Fowler/CBC)

A statement from Beverly Stears, acting director of communications at WorkSafeNB, also says the investigation in ongoing, and no cause has yet been determined.  

NBCC says it is confident that when the Allied Health Building is reopened that it will be safe for students and the approximately 30 staff members that work there. 

"We have done a hospital level disinfection guided by our partners," said Fornier.  

"We received standard operating procedures for that cleaning and guided a cleaning company to do that for us." 

Fornier says that students missed a minimal about of class time, with courses shifting to the main NBCC campus in east Saint John for the last two weeks.  

About the Author

Shane Fowler


Shane Fowler has been a CBC journalist based in Fredericton since 2013.