Moncton outbreak was travel-related; N.B. reports eight new cases
FREDERICTON -- Close to 500 people are now self-isolating after COVID-19 outbreaks in the Moncton and Campbellton areas of New Brunswick.
Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health, said Wednesday that the cluster in Moncton has been traced to travel, while the source of the outbreak in the north remains unknown.
There were eight more cases reported in New Brunswick on Wednesday and Russell is asking all residents to stay vigilant.
Six of the cases are in the Campbellton region and two are in the Moncton region, involving people from their 30s to their 70s. New Brunswick now has 90 active cases of COVID-19.
"We learned that people have become complacent about being aware of the ongoing risks and taking the appropriate actions simply because our numbers were so low," said Russell.
The two Moncton cases announced Wednesday are tied to the outbreak at Manoir Notre-Dame.
Jan Seely, the president of the New Brunswick Association of Special Care Homes, says COVID-19 has brought extra worries as well as challenges.
"On a good day, our staff are very busy and they are doing tremendous work with our thousands of clients as our operators and then you throw COVID in the mix, so it certainly has been difficult," Seely said.
There are 6,000 special-care spaces occupied in New Brunswick at the moment
Of those, about 1,800 are under the age of 65 with different mental health needs and about 4,000 are seniors.
For the staff, the COVID-19 crisis has left them with a much heavier workload.
"We've had to establish visitation monitoring and policing, which has presented some problems," Seely said. "Staff are trying to provide care and also the lack of socialization throughout the different phases we've had of visitation restrictions."
Schools in New Brunswick have also been highly affected by this second wave.
On Wednesday, the province said families of Ecole aux Quatre Vents in Dalhousie have been notified of a positive case within the school.
There has also been a possible exposure at several other schools in northern New Brunswick.
"I am a parent, and my children are going to school right now and they will continue unless I get a call from a public health nurse who says your child has COVID or your child is in close contact with someone with COVID," said Russell.
The cluster of cases in the Campbellton region remains under investigation.