Sixty-six new COVID-19 cases impacting 31 schools across N.B.
School districts in New Brunswick are dealing with an influx in COVID-19 cases. Over the weekend, 31 schools across the province had been affected by 66 new cases.
Some school communities, like Fredericton High School, were informed late Sunday evening that they would be moving to online learning – not enough time, says Teachers’ Association president Connie Keating.
“There is a myth out there that at the switch of a button, everyone is able to adapt to online and remote learning, and that just isn’t the case,” she said. “There needs to be kind of a line drawn in the sand. At what point can all those involved shut off their devices and actually get a good night’s sleep because currently, superintendents and administrators and teachers , they’re really feeling that they are on call 24-7."
A spokesperson for Anglophone West School District says the district has seen an increase in the number of cases, particularly on Fredericton’s north side – and that the majority of cases are in children under 12.
The district – one of the largest in the province – has had 31 schools affected by cases so far this school year. Last year, only 14 were impacted – over the entire year.
A temporary position has been created to manage the cases, called the “Director of COVID-19 Response.”
“When we are informed of a case by Public Health, the Director of Covid-19 Response works with the impacted school to identify all close contacts, whom their school officials then notify,” said spokesperson Jennifer Read. “After that, he and other district personnel deliver rapid tests to the school to ensure that families have immediate access to testing and to help mitigate the risk or spread. In some instances where schools have had multiple cases, we have provided all families with rapid test kits, regardless of whether their children were identified as close contacts.”
She says the district communicates with families as soon as they are informed of a case – and that sometimes means texts, calls and emails in the evening.
About 40 per cent of cases reported over the last three days are in people under 19.