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COVID-19 case reported at high school in Campbellton as N.B. numbers climb

Click to play video 'N.B. moving two public health zones back into orange recovery phase' N.B. moving two public health zones back into orange recovery phase
As case numbers in New Brunswick continue their slow but steady climb, the province is moving two public health zones back into the orange recovery phase. Travis Fortnum reports – Oct 9, 2020

Public health officials in New Brunswick reported 13 new cases of COVID-19 in the province Friday as a school in the north of the province was closed following confirmation of an infection.

There are now 37 active cases in the province, and there have been 238 cases since the pandemic began.

The Vitalite Health Network posted a message on its website to say that because of an increasing number of COVID-19 cases, visits to the Campbellton Regional Hospital are cancelled as a precautionary measure to protect patients, visitors and staff.

It said 18 employees are in isolation either because they have COVID-19 or have been identified as close contacts through contact tracing.

Read more: N.B. to make masks mandatory in indoor public places, 3 new COVID-19 cases reported

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The principal of Sugarloaf High School in Campbellton, N.B., announced Thursday night that a case had been confirmed in the school and said the school board is working with public health officials to identify students or staff who may have had contact with the person.

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“We understand you may feel anxious over the coming days,” the principal, Michael O’Toole, wrote in a Facebook post.

“Children and young people look to the adults in their lives to guide them on how to react to worrying and stressful events. Parents are encouraged to talk to their children about any anxieties and remind them to treat one another with kindness and respect, in person and on social media.”

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O’Toole said his school, which is just across the border from Quebec, is temporarily closed to allow for cleaning and contact tracing.

He also said students who live in Listuguj First Nation and Pointe-a-la-Croix on the Quebec side of the border will receive laptops and other technology to allow them to participate in remote learning.

The province’s public health agency reported three new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, including one in Campbellton involving a person in their 30s.

On Wednesday, the province reported 17 new COVID-19 connected to a special-care home in Moncton — the largest one-day increase of cases in the province since the pandemic began.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 9, 2020.