N.B. reports two new cases of COVID-19 in Campbellton region; case involving doctor takes ugly, racist turn
HALIFAX -- There are two new cases of COVID-19 in the Campbellton region of New Brunswick.
"One case is linked to a close contact of a previously identified case in the outbreak and the other one is linked to Manoir de la Vallée, a long-term care facility in Atholville," the government said in a news release.
The new cases are a person in their 40s and a person in their 60s.
New Brunswick public health said a Quebec resident has also tested positive for COVID-19 and the case is linked to the Atholville long-term care facility. The case will be counted in Quebec’s statistics.
The Campbellton COVID-19 cluster started when a child in the Campbellton region was diagnosed on May 21.
Five days later, an individual in their 90s tested positive in the same zone.
The next day, the province announced a person in their 50s had tested positive and that the two previous cases were linked to this individual, a health-care worker.
A total of 15 cases make up the Campbellton cluster.
The situation has sparked rumours and speculation about the doctor on many social media feeds.
The doctor has been publicly criticized for his action and now, the case is taking on an ugly racist tone.
Including, posts like this one:
Wednesday, the medical society said it's deeply concerned that the physician -- Dr. Jean Robert Ngola -- has been the target of racist attacks.
"It is understandable that citizens are concerned and upset about the COVID-19 outbreak in northern New Brunswick," said Dr. Chris Goodyear, the president of the Medical Society of New Brunswick. "Dr. Ngola has admitted making an 'error in judgment' by crossing the border into Quebec and returning to New Brunswick without self-isolating. However, there is no excuse for the dissemination of his personal information or the racist verbal attacks and false reports to police that he has endured."
Campbellton-Dalhousie MLA Guy Arseneault says the behaviour is unpardonable.
"There's racism in Canada, there's racism anywhere, it's what level it's at, and I think that it heightens in a state of anxiety," he said.
Arseneault returned home after the house adjourned late last week and went into self-isolation.
He was tested and it came back negative.
"Let's get all the facts, let's not pass judgement," Arseneault. "Let's concentrate on the virus and put all our energies and our thoughts there."
Since the outbreak began, five residents and three staff at an Atholville special care home have tested positive for COVID-19.
Of the five residents, three are in hospital.
Social Development Minister Dorothy Shephard says they are in stable condition.
"We put three admin supports in, and those supports, who are also familiar with the home and the residents, are in contact with families on a daily basis," Shephard said.
Shephard also said because of extra-mural help staffing levels at the home are stable after 10 staff resigned last week.
The province's chief medical officer of health cautioned people to not let their guard down as they try to enjoy the nice weather.
“I remind New Brunswickers to remain vigilant and watch for symptoms since COVID-19 is going to be with us for a long time,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell.
The two new cases bring New Brunswick's total of confirmed cases to 135. Of those, 120 had recovered before the Campbellton cluster emerged. That includes all of the province's 15 active cases.
Five of those people are hospitalized with one in an intensive care unit. As of Wednesday, the province had performed 31,791 tests.
Check for symptoms
Anyone showing two of the following symptoms should contact Tele-Care 811 or their primary health-care provider for further direction:
- fever above 38 C or signs of fever (such as chills);
- new cough or worsening chronic cough;
- sore throat;
- runny nose;
- new onset of fatigue;
- new onset of muscle pain;
- loss of sense of taste or loss of sense of smell; and
- in children, purple markings on the fingers or toes. In this instance, testing will be done even if none of the other symptoms are present.
A self-assessment will help you determine if you should be tested for COVID-19.
Up-to-date information about COVID-19 is available online.