N.B. COVID-19 roundup: Province reports 14 new cases, 2 schools switch to remote learning

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More than 1,000 students in the Woodstock, N.B., area will be learning from home until at least Friday, after confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported.

Three cases were announced at Woodstock High School and one case at Townsview School.

The Anglophone West School District said both schools will have "operational response days" on Monday, meaning students will stay home while staff prepare for remote learning.

Students are expected to be learning from home until at least Friday, when the situation will be re-assessed. Families will be notified if changes are made for the following week.

Public Health officials asked all staff and students to self-isolate over the weekend to allow time for contact tracing.

Superintendent David McTimoney said the requirement, in response to "high level activity in the area," remained in effect until further notice.

Shane Fowler/CBC
Shane Fowler/CBC

"Public Health will inform us when the global self-isolation measures can be lifted," he said in a statement.

Contact tracing is also underway in the Campbellton region after two schools confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Saturday.

One case was confirmed at both Académie Notre-Dame in Dalhousie and Polyvalente Roland-Pépin in Campbellton, according to Public Health.

In the case of the Campbellton area schools, only those contacted by Public Health will need to self-isolate.

The province said operational response plans are being rolled out at those schools and staff will reach out to families directly by Sunday evening about any impacts on learning.

Shane Fowler/CBC
Shane Fowler/CBC

Garderie Tic Tac Toe, a Dalhousie daycare centre, also reported one case.

Public Health is conducting contact tracing and will directly contact anyone in close contact with a confirmed case.

The school cases come as the province experiences an uptick in cases in the new year, rising to 184 active. Most of those cases have been reported in the last nine days, sending New Brunswick back to the orange phase and prompting Nova Scotia to tighten travel restrictions.

14 new cases across province

New Brunswick reported 14 new cases on Sunday, bringing the total number of active cases to 184.

The new cases include:

  • Four in Zone 2 (Saint John region): Two people aged 30 to 39; an individual in their 40s; and an individual in their 80s.

  • Five cases in Zone 3 (Fredericton region): Two people 19 and under; an individual in their 20s; and two people aged 30 to 39.

  • Three cases in Zone 4 (Edmundston region): Two people aged 20 to 29; and an individual in their 50s.

  • One case in Zone 5 (Campbellton region): An individual in their 50s.

  • One case in Zone 6 (Bathurst region): An individual in their 20s.

CBC
CBC

The province has reported 178 cases in the last 10 days.

There are 59 active cases in the Fredericton region, 47 in the Moncton region, 37 in the Saint John region, 19 in the Edmundston region, 21 in the Campbellton region, and 1 in the Bathurst region.

The Miramichi region (Zone 7) is the only part of the province without a confirmed case of COVID-19.

3 new cases at Tucker Hall

A Saint John nursing home experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19 has confirmed three new cases.

Shannex Tucker Hall reported late Saturday that the new cases were one resident and two employees.

There have been 24 total cases confirmed at the facility, which has 90 beds and about 130 employees. All residents and staff are expected to be retested on Monday and Thursday.

The home experienced a resurgence of COVID-19 this week, reporting 15 new cases on Tuesday.

Graham Thompson/CBC
Graham Thompson/CBC

The long-term care facility is one of four in New Brunswick with active COVID-19 cases.

There is currently one employee case at Canterbury Hall, a Shannex assisted-living facility in Riverview.

One case was also confirmed at both Fundy Royal Manor II, a 28-bed special care home in Hillsborough, and Foyer Ste-Élizabeth, a 50-bed nursing home in Baker-Brook, near Edmundston.

Second vaccine doses continue

New Brunswick is continuing to administer second doses of the vaccine against COVID-19, which began on Saturday.

Those who received the shot in late December were invited to return to Miramichi for a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Louise Haché, a family doctor in Tracadie, was part of the first group in the province to receive a second dose of the vaccine on Saturday.

Haché said she has felt well after both shots and the only side effects experienced were a sore arm and slight headache.

Submitted by Louise Haché
Submitted by Louise Haché

"I feel privileged to have received the vaccine," she told Radio-Canada.

"There is a much greater risk of catching the illness than having side effects from the vaccine, so get yourself vaccinated."

Health Minister Dorothy Shephard said last week the province has received 11,175 total doses of the vaccine so far.

New Brunswick has confirmed 779 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. There have been 585 recoveries and nine COVID-related deaths. The death of a 10th person with COVID-19 was unrelated to the disease.

The province has conducted 162,098 tests, including 2,059 since Saturday's update.

Eel River Bar First Nation in red phase

Eel River Bar First Nation moved back to the tighter red recovery phase in response to climbing cases in the region.

The community's pandemic response team made the decision on Friday and all band operations and projects will be closed for a minimum of 14 days.

Chief Sacha LaBillois Kennedy said although there are no confirmed cases, three confirmed exposures to positive cases were determined through contact tracing.

"Please know that we did not make this decision lightly and we have been looking at all perspectives. We feel that it was necessary in order to continue to protect the community and the staff from the spread and risks of COVID-19," he said in a statement.

Eel River Bar First Nation
Eel River Bar First Nation

The community is located near Dalhousie in Zone 5, which has 21 active cases of COVID-19.

The decision follows a similar move toward tighter restrictions at Tobique First Nation, near Perth-Andover, after two cases were confirmed.

It moved to the red phase on Friday, which includes a curfew and security checkpoint to control non-essential travel. Community members are permitted to leave two times per day for essential items and medical appointments.

One of the positive cases in the community is at Mah-Sos School.

What to do if you have a symptom

People concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test online.

Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included:

  • A fever above 38 C.

  • A new cough or worsening chronic cough.

  • Sore throat.

  • Runny nose.

  • Headache.

  • New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell.

  • Difficulty breathing.

In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes.

People with one of those symptoms should:

  • Stay at home.

  • Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor.

  • Describe symptoms and travel history.

  • Follow instructions.