While reporting six new known cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick Monday, Public Health officials said one case has been confirmed at Harrison Trimble High School in Moncton.
The Anglophone East School District sent a letter home to the school community Sunday evening.
Superintendent Gregg Ingersoll said the district is working with public health officials to identify any students and staff who may have been in contact with the case.
Kate Caillouette has two children who attend the school. She says she’s a little wary about sending her son and daughter back to class.
“Not 100 per cent comfortable,” Caillouette says. “But she needs to go to school because she’s only going half the time… I work full-time so I’m not capable of being home to help her with her studies.”
“No significant impact on learning is anticipated and, unless advised by Public Health, students should return to school,” a release from the province says.
In the Fredericton, Saint John and Moncton regions (health zones), there have been 14 positives cases and eight possible exposures within schools.
“I’m a parent so I do understand the anxiety and fear around having your child be in a school setting,” Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province’s chief medical officer of health says in an interview.
Russell says Public Health decisions are weighed against the risks. There has been no student-to-student transmission of COVID-19 in New Brunswick.
However, when asked about staff-to-staff or staff-to-student transmission, Russell says “there has been adult-to-adult transmission or adult-to-child transmission but there hasn’t been child-to-child transmission.”
Back at Harrison Trimble, there was no day off for additional cleaning, like some other schools have arranged.
Education Minister Dominic Cardy says that decision is made on a school-by-school basis.
“If you have a group of students or a group of people in a school environment who are infected, that can differ widely depending… How much time they’ve spent at school, what they were doing at school and so on,” Cardy tells Global News.
“So we’re trying to make sure this is as targeted as possible so we don’t disrupt everyone’s education.”
Cardy says the goal is to avoid school closures, but that he wouldn’t hesitate to make that move if any region went to the red phase of New Brunswick’s COVID-19 recovery plan.
“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,” said Ingersoll.