New Brunswick health officials reported 13 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, and said there are 37 active cases in the province.
Chief of health Dr. Jennifer Russell said in a provincial update on Friday that 12 cases were detected in the Campbellton region, one of which was travel-related.
One additional case was identified in Moncton, after 19 people tested positive for the virus earlier this week, in an outbreak at the Notre-Dame Manor special-care home.
She said 150 people are in isolation in Moncton as a precautionary measure related to the outbreak.
Premier Blaine Higgs said in the provincial update that Zone 1 and Zone 5 will be transitioning back into the orange phase of the recovery plan, as of midnight.
This means personal service businesses, such as hairdressers, will not be permitted to operate, Higgs said. “It is not an easy decision,” he said.
More information on what this transition means for the two regions can be found on the provincial website.
Higgs discouraged residents in other parts of the province from travelling to these regions, and said those inside the regions should avoid leaving the regions.
Horizon Health said on Friday it urges patients with non-urgent health care needs to seek options other than the emergency department at the Dr. Georges L. Dumont University Hospital Centre and The Moncton Hospital.
Vitalité Health Network announced on Friday that visits to the Campbellton Regional Hospital are suspended.
It also said that 18 of Vitalité’s health-care workers in Restigouche are in isolation, “either because they have COVID-19 or were found to be close contacts through Public Health’s contact tracing.”
On Friday morning, a case of COVID-19 was also confirmed by a high school in northeastern New Brunswick.
The principal of Sugarloaf High School in Campbellton said in a Facebook post the board is working with public health officials to identify any other students or staff who may have had contact with the person.
Michael O’Toole said his school, which is just across the border from Quebec, is temporarily closed to allow for cleaning and contact tracing.
Campbellton Mayor Stephanie Anglehart-Paulin says she was scrolling through her phone Friday morning when she learned of the confirmed case in her community’s school.
“It’s that feeling of ‘why us again?'” she says. “I was on the horn bright and early this morning to find out what, if anything, the City of Campbellton could do.”
That was a tough pill to swallow, she says especially after the community was already anxious after the mini bubble with two neighbouring Quebec communities was popped Thursday.
“It creates such havoc when they live in Quebec, but they run on New Brunswick time because they use our community as theirs,” she says of the neighbouring communities of Listuguj First Nation and Pointe-à-la-Croix.
The northern New Brunswick mayor homeschooled her grandson this year because of COVID-19.
And now with the Sugarloaf Senior High situation, she’s concerned about the possibility of community spread.
“Who didn’t go see their mother or their uncle or their sister, they had no reason not to… So that’s what the orange phase is going to bring us back to,” she says. “It really hits home; I had that same feeling this morning as I did June 4th. The feeling of ‘oh Lord, it’s in my community… What can we do? We can’t do anything other than stay home and keep our physical distance.”
But with the cases announced Friday, mental health and and businesses will again suffer — especially newer ones and small businesses.
“The premier called me probably 15 minutes before the press conference,” she says. “So I knew it was coming… You know there’s nothing to do at this point, right?”
Stacy Doiron Laviolette’s daughter is a grade 10 student at Sugarloaf Senior High School. When she received a call from school officials on Thursday and saw the Facebook post Friday, she wasn’t unprepared.
“Honestly not completely surprised,” she told Global News. “It’s a small community, so we heard rumblings actually when I was at work last night that there might’ve been a case at the school.”
Doiron says she’s not overly panicked about the situation but her family is being as cautious as possible.
Meanwhile, Anglehart-Paulin says Dr. Jennifer Russell assured her mass testing will be available for the community again.
According to Public Health, there are three people hospitalized as a result on COVID-19 in the province.
To date, 238 cases have been reported and New Brunswick has seen 199 recoveries.
In addition, the New Brunswick government announced that masks will become mandatory in most indoor public places, effective Friday.View link »