N.B. requiring teachers, students to avoid schools for 14 days after visiting COVID-19 affected areas

Dominic Cardy, the province's education minister, speaks with Global News on May 17, 2019.
Dominic Cardy, the province's education minister, speaks with Global News on May 17, 2019. Megan Yamoah / Global News

The New Brunswick government announced Friday that all students, children and teachers who have traveled to COVID-19 affected areas are required to avoid being in any public school for 14 days from the date of their return.

The affected areas are China, Iran, Japan, Northern Italy, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong, as listed by the government in a press release.

READ MORE: New Brunswick public health officials issue guidelines for coronavirus

“As an increased level of precaution, those who have traveled within any part of Italy will be required to follow the same directive for the countries listed,” the government added.

New Brunswick’s education minister Dominic Cardy said the requirement to avoid any public school, early learning facilities or school district offices will go into effect on March 7.

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He said that it is not a suggestion and that “it’s mandatory.”

On Thursday, New Brunswick’s acting medical officer of health, Dr. Cristin Muecke, said there have been no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the province so far, but advised that people should take precautions.

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Muecke said March break travellers and anyone returning from outside the country should also monitor themselves for symptoms – including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing – for 14 days.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Nearly 100,000 COVID-19 cases spark global economy concerns

As of Friday, the number of people infected with the virus charged toward 100,000, with the global scare upending routines, threatening livelihoods and prompting quarantines in its spread.

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The outbreak has also been moving to Europe — where Italy, Germany and France had the most cases — and beyond.

However, the second hardest-hit country after China is South Korea.

-With files from Matt Sedensky, The Associated Press and The Canadian Press

More to come…