N.B. students return to school under renewed masking rules
Students in New Brunswick started their school week off with new safety measures in place.
On Friday, Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy announced that some restrictions would return, including adding a mandatory mask mandate after at least 80 cases in schools in the first two weeks back.
"We'll see what the affects of that are," said Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health. "We're trying to streamline our contact tracing process. As you know, people do get letters to notify them when a school setting has been impacted and they were getting individual phone calls for close contacts, etc."
Parents and caregivers say they understand something had to be done to slow the spread in schools.
"My daughter wasn't very surprised about it," said parent Annick Crowell. "I think they're resilient and they're used to some of the restrictions that are in place. My biggest worry is the impact on extra-curriculars, but I understand it. I'm really fortunate that she's vaccinated, but I understand the parents of the children who are not old enough to be vaccinated and the need that we have to protect them too."
Mary Chouinard, who is a grandparent, support the move, too.
"I think it's perfect, I believed in the masks all along," Chouinard said. "I go to the Y and I'm wearing mine all the time there, so I think the kids should do the same here. I know they're being as safe as they can and all you can do is your best but I wish more people would go get their vaccines."
The Anglo-West school district was not available to comment on but did send a statement saying: "It has been a bumpy start to the new school year, but we learned many lessons last year and are confident that, despite the challenges, we will make it through this year with success."
Of the 199 cases announced Monday, 57 of those are listed as under the age of 19.