Worries, Anxiety Growing With School And University Closures In Fredericton Area


Fredericton South MPP David Coon said he was assured public health was “doing everything possible” to bring the situation under control in the city and surrounding areas.

The first case of the B1617 variant, first identified in India, was confirmed in a previously reported case in the Fredericton area.

Coon said a COVID cabinet committee meeting was held on Tuesday morning and the region was of concern.

“As they did in Edmundston, they are doing everything possible,” he said. “In Edmundston, it took longer to manage because it was a variation and it was more contagious, but they got it under control… the same approach is taken here.

Six cases have been confirmed at a University of New Brunswick residence, where students are now isolated, and further testing has been done at another residence. Public Health expects results later in the week.

A case at George Street Middle School closed the school for at least three days, and all of its staff, students and their households were asked to self-isolate until midnight Thursday.

A memo sent to the school community says people forced to self-isolate are “not allowed to participate in activities, including going to work, or having visitors at home.”

“To date, more than 900 tests have been performed. Testing will be mandatory for all students and school staff, ”said New Brunswick Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jennifer Russell.

The English-speaking West School District said it had also had to close the Priestman Street school because of eight vacant teaching positions they could not fill.

“We are unable to confirm the reasons for these vacancies and have not been informed of any additional cases there,” a spokesperson said.

But the province’s teachers’ association says it makes sense for the school to fall victim to a ripple effect from the virus.

“So many people are connected from school to school, it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that teachers have children who are also in other schools and therefore you would have a certain number of teachers who are isolate – maybe because of contact – or remember, if you’re showing symptoms of COVID-19, we’ve heard Dr. Russell say you can’t report to work, ”said the president of the NBTA, Rick Cuming.

A long list of shows in Fredericton and Nackawic was released on Monday, and Dr Russell says anyone at the sites is urged to get tested, regardless of whether they have symptoms.

Horizon Health Network hosted a temporary appointment-only testing clinic in the parking lot of the Nackawic Mall on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from noon to 5 p.m.

To make an appointment, people are encouraged to call 811 or complete the online self-reference and select “Hartland” as their preferred site until “Nackawic” appears.

“The Indian variant has been identified in one case and it is extremely contagious, extremely contagious. That is why it is so important that people who were in the public exhibition areas that have been announced are tested,” said Coon said.


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