N.B. COVID-19 roundup: 8 new cases, university reports 1
New Brunswick now has 55 active cases, almost 51,000 people have had at least one vaccine dose
- 55 active cases; 63,195 shots of vaccine given so far
- Bus drivers disappointed about not being prioritized
- Mount Allison University reports case
- Cases affect 2 schools, 2 child-care centres
- Exposure notices
- School vaccination clinics under way
Public Health is reporting eight new cases of COVID-19 in the province Monday.
There are three new cases in the Moncton (Zone 1) region, three in the Edmundston (Zone 4) region, and a new case each in the Saint John (Zone 2) and Fredericton (Zone 3) regions.
The new cases in the Moncton region include two people who are 19 years old or under and contacts of a previously reported case. The third is an individual aged 40 to 49 and the case is travel-related.
The new cases in the Edmundston region include an individual 19 or under, an individual 20 to 29, and an individual aged 50 to 59. The first and third cases are contacts of previously reported cases, and the second is travel-related.
The new case in the Saint John region is someone 50 to 59 years old and is travel related. The new case in the Fredericton region is someone 60 to 69 and a contact of a previously reported case.
All zones remain in the yellow phase of the province's COVID-19 recovery plan.
The latest cases bring the number of active cases to 55, and the total number of cases confirmed since the pandemic started to 1,498.
There have been 30 deaths, and two people are now in hospital. The province carried out 407 tests on Sunday, and has done a total of 245,730 during the pandemic.
The newest statistics for vaccinations show 63,195 doses administered so far. This number includes 50,974 people who have received at least one dose.
The province has received 93,455 doses of vaccine. New Brunswick has 661,500 people who are eligible for the vaccine.
Mount Allison reports case
Sackville's Mount Allison University on Monday reported a member of its campus community tested positive for COVID-19.
It's not clear if the case is one of the eight reported by Public Health on Monday.
In a news release, the university said the individual lives off campus, but there have been potential exposures on campus.
Anyone who was at the following locations should self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 but is not required to self-isolate, the university said.
- Thornton House on Friday, March 19, from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Fitness Centre on Friday, March 19, from 5 to 8 p.m.
The individual who tested positive and their contacts are currently self-isolating, the university said.
2 schools, 2 child-care centres affected
In a letter sent to parents on Sunday, Anglophone East superintendent Gregg Ingersoll confirmed a positive case of COVID-19 at Moncton High School.
"We are working with Public Health officials to identify any students and school personnel who may have been in contact with the case," he wrote.
The school is closed Monday.
Ingersoll said parents will be contacted if their child has been in close contact with the confirmed case.
"If you are not contacted by Public Health officials, your child can continue to attend school," he said.
In its Monday media release, Public Health said the school will be closed while contact tracing is carried out.
Meanwhile, in the Edmundston region, a confirmed case and possible exposures to positive cases have led to the closures of École Notre-Dame, and child-care centres Halte Scolaire Krok Soleil and Garderie Mont Ste-Marie.
The communities for École Notre-Dame and Halte Scolaire Krok Soleil, which is located at the school, have been notified and both will remain closed until March 30.
A positive case was confirmed at Garderie Mont Ste-Marie, and the affected families have been notified. The child-care centre will close until further notice.
School vaccination clinics underway
Thirteen schools were closed Monday for staff vaccination clinics being held in Edmundston and Centreville.
About 4,500 staff from high schools across the province will receive a COVID-19 vaccination at a clinic in one of 16 locations between March 22 and 27.
Schools will be closed to students on the days that local clinics are being held to allow staff to be vaccinated and to plan for the full return to school, Public Health said.
Clinics will be held in Hampton, St. Stephen and Miramichi on Tuesday for staff from the following 17 schools:
- Kennebecasis Valley High School in Quispamsis.
- Hampton High School.
- Belleisle Regional School in Kings County.
- Sussex Regional High School in Sussex.
- Rothesay High School.
- Fundy High School in St. George.
- Sir James Dunn Academy in Saint Andrews.
- St. Stephen High School.
- Campobello Community School.
- Grand Manan Community School.
- École Carrefour Beausoleil in Miramichi.
- École Régionale de Baie-Sainte-Anne in Baie-Sainte-Anne.
- Blackville School.
- James M. Hill Memorial High School in Miramichi.
- Miramichi Valley High School in Miramichi.
- North & South Esk Regional High School in Sunny Corner.
- École Étoile de l'Acadie in Rogersville.
Vaccination clinics are scheduled for the Fredericton region on March 24, the Saint John region on March 25, the Tracadie and Moncton regions on March 26, and the Shediac, Bathurst and Campbellton regions on March 29.
All districts are preparing for a return to full-time, in-person learning on April 12.
"In the coming weeks, additional vaccination clinics will be available for staff in elementary and middle schools and for early childhood service providers and child-care staff as part of the large employer section of the vaccine rollout plan," Public Health says.
Bus drivers disappointed about not being prioritized
While high school teachers are already receiving doses of COVID-19 vaccine, the bus drivers tasked with transporting students to and from school will have to wait a bit longer.
The decision to not prioritize them among the early recipients within the public school system has some drivers feeling disappointed, said Mike Meahan, the CUPE national service representative for bus drivers in New Brunswick.
"It's just kind of unfortunate that, you know, all the work that those folks do, the good work, just they kind of felt that they were undervalued by government when it came to the decision to not put them in with that group," he said.
In an email, Shawn Berry, spokesperson for the Health Department, said in the coming weeks, additional vaccination clinics will be available for staff in elementary and middle schools, including bus drivers.
Early childhood service providers and child-care staff will also be included as part of the large employer section of the province's vaccine rollout plan, he said.
Public Health has issued notifications for two locations in Edmundston where people might have been exposed to COVID-19 within the past week.
The first is at Restaurant Poissonnerie Ouellet at 350 Victoria St. on March 17 between 5 and 6:30 p.m.
The second is at a McDonald's Restaurant at 190 Hébert Blvd., on March 20 between noon and 12:45 p.m.
Public Health says it issues exposure notifications in cases where officials cannot be certain of exactly who may have been exposed to the coronavirus in a given location.
In cases where record-keeping is able to identify anyone who may have been exposed, officials contact those individuals directly, Public Health says.
What to do if you have a symptom
People concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test online.
Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included:
- A fever above 38 C.
- A new cough or worsening chronic cough.
- Sore throat.
- Runny nose.
- New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell.
- Difficulty breathing.
- In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes.
People with one of those symptoms should:
- Stay at home.
- Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor.
- Describe symptoms and travel history.
- Follow instructions.