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N.B. parents preparing to deal with coronavirus-related daycare closures

Click to play video 'N.B. chief medical officer recommending closure of childcare centers' N.B. chief medical officer recommending closure of childcare centers
The province’s chief medical officer of health is recommending the closure, with the exception of those that serve essential services workers. Tim Roszell has more – Mar 16, 2020

Parents and caregivers in Saint John expressed little surprise when it was announced that daycares in the province would be closing in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

New Brunswick’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Jennifer Russell, announced the decision Monday among a number of measures meant to limit the chances of a widespread outbreak in the province.

Daycares in New Brunswick, with the exception of those for families of essential service workers, will be closed until further notice, starting Tuesday.

READ MORE: New COVID-19 case brings New Brunswick total to 7

“It’s probably going to be a hardship on a lot of people out there,” said Anthony Basque, as he picked up his granddaughter from a west side daycare centre.

“It’s something that has to be done. The safety of our children and our elderly are the main concern here, so they have to do what they have to do,” he added.

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Another said that as of right now it’s okay because her place of work is closed.

“But if my work opens up again, I’m not sure what I’m going to do,” said Lindsay Robson, who gathered up a child whose parents were both working.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: New Brunswick public schools to close for 2 weeks, early learning centres still open

Then there are families just entering the daycare system.

“I’m on maternity leave, (and I’m) supposed to be coming off in a few weeks, and my son’s supposed to starting daycare around the same time,” said Melissa MacLeod. “So, just not really sure what’s going to be happening with daycares if they close, and what I’m supposed to do.”

MacLeod said she’s also concerned about sending her son when daycares re-open, wondering what types of checks and balances the government will have in place for her child and others.

It is not clear when the decision to close daycares will be revisited by the provincial government.