Outbreak declared at Campbellton special-care home; another N.B. school reports COVID-19 case
HALIFAX -- New Brunswick public health has declared an outbreak at a special-care home in Campbellton, N.B., and a fourth school in the Campbellton region -- Dalhousie Regional High School -- is reporting a confirmed case of COVID-19.
Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health, made the announcement Tuesday afternoon as she revealed that there are six new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick -- five in Zone 5 (the Campbellton region) and one in Zone 1 (the Moncton region.)
One of the confirmed cases is a resident at the 45-bed Manoir de la Sagesse and, even though there is just one case, it's a vulnerable population and residents there share rooms.
"We have to declare an outbreak based on the public health risk assessment," Dr. Russell said.
She said health authorities are conducting "mass testing" of residents and staff, who she said will be tested every couple of days.
"We will continue to do that testing and as cases are identified, their close contacts will be contacted and isolated."
Of the five cases in Zone 5, one is a person under 19 years of age, one person is in their 30s, one person is in their 50s, and two people are in their 60s.
All of these cases are linked to the regional outbreak and the people are self-isolating.
The case in the Moncton region is a person in their 70s and it is linked to the outbreak at Notre-Dame Manor. That person is also self-isolating.
New Brunswick has now reported 284 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of those, 200 have recovered and there have been two deaths connected to an outbreak at a nursing home in Atholville in the spring. There are 82 active cases and five patients are hospitalized, with one in an intensive care unit. As of Tuesday, 86,723 tests have been conducted.
There are 41 active cases in Zone 1 and 37 active cases in Zone 5.
COVID-19 CONFIRMED IN SCHOOLS
Four schools in the province now have confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The latest case at a school was confirmed in a notice on Dalhousie Regional High School's website on Monday.
The school will be closed to students on Tuesday and Wednesday. The school will be open to teachers and staff only.
Students will be learning online from home on those days. The school says students will be contacted by their teachers to make sure they have the necessary technology. Another update is expected Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Dalhousie Regional is working with Public Health officials to identify students and staff who may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus.
“We understand you may feel anxious over the coming days,” said the school in the post. “Public Health officials will contact you if your child has been in close contact with the confirmed case and will tell you if your child needs to self-isolate.”
Anyone who does not receive a call from Public Health can send their child to school once the building reopens.
Dalhousie Regional is not releasing any additional details about the COVID-19 case, citing privacy.
Education Minister Dominic Cardy warned there may also have been possible exposures to the novel coronavirus at Campbellton Middle School, Lord Beaverbrook Elementary and the Campbellton Learning Centre.
Parents and caregivers should check with the schools' websites for updates.
And he says, above all, avoid rumours and misinformation.
"I'm continuing to see on social media and on mainstream media, misinformation, partial truths being shared that active damages our province's response to COVID-19 and actively endangers the life and safety of the people of this province," Cardy said.
Three other New Brunswick schools – Sugarloaf Senior High School in Campbellton, Académie Notre-Dame in Dalhousie and L.E. Reinsborough School in Dalhousie -- have each reported a single case of COVID-19 since Thursday.
Tuesday is an “operational response day” for L.E. Reinsborough and Académie Notre-Dame. The provincial government says students will stay home while staff roll out their response plans.
Students at Sugarloaf High School will move to online learning on Tuesday and Wednesday.
All four schools with confirmed COVID-19 cases are located in Zone 5, or the Campbellton region, where 37 of New Brunswick’s active cases were located as of Tuesday afternoon.
Health officials stressed that New Brunswick is entering a new stage of fighting COVID and said the next two weeks are critical.
The premier also reminded residents to follow the rules.
"The rules are not optional," Blaine Higgs said. "They are in place so we can keep the pandemic manageable in our province, as we have been able to do thus far."