Student at Elsipogtog First Nation school tests positive for COVID-19

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Elsipogtog School, a K-8 school in the Moncton region, Zone 1, is closed for two days after a student tested positive for COVID-19. (Anglophone North School District - image credit)
Elsipogtog School, a K-8 school in the Moncton region, Zone 1, is closed for two days after a student tested positive for COVID-19. (Anglophone North School District - image credit)

A case of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Elsipogtog First Nation, N.B.

A student at Elsipogtog School has tested positive, according to a notice to parents Wednesday from Ivan Augustine, the director of education for the community's education authority.

The student has been staying home, he said, and immediate family members were sent home to limit exposure.

Classes were dismissed early Wednesday and the school will remain closed for two days to allow for contact tracing and sanitization, Augustine advised.

Public Health did not announce the case among the province's confirmed school cases Wednesday or Thursday.

Elsipogtog School has students in kindergarten through Grade 8.

It is located roughly 13 kilometres southwest of Rexton, in the Moncton region, Zone 1, which has 382 active cases of COVID-19, as of Thursday.

The school closure is a precautionary measure, according to a Facebook post by school principal Melissa Googoo Dedam.

The student in question has not been to school since last week, she wrote, and the child's family members are following all the directions from Public Health.

Staff members were tested using rapid tests before they left Wednesday and the results came back negative, she added.

"I understand you are scared and that's [OK]. We are following all our COVID protocols and no one has [willingly] put your children in danger. In these times of crisis, [it is] important to be respectful and kind to one another."

Rest assured the Elsipogtog chief & council, the COVID-19 response team and the Elsipogtog Health & Wellness Centre are confident in the community's ability to address, adapt and contain [COVID] cases. - Elsipogtog First Nation chief and council

The chief and council and Elsipogtog COVID response team announced the new case on the band's Facebook page Wednesday, calling it "unfortunate news," but "not unexpected."

"Please note that the community member has been in isolation for the past couple of days and close contacts [have] been notified," the post states.

Those people have also undergone rapid testing and their results also came back negative, it said.

The Elsipogtog Health & Wellness Centre is continuing the contact tracing.

Support is also being offered to the affected family, according to the post.

"Rest assured the Elsipogtog chief & council, the COVID-19 response team and the Elsipogtog Health & Wellness Centre are confident in the community's ability to address, adapt and contain [COVID] cases," it states.

Case in August cancelled powwow

A positive case reported in the community on Aug. 26 prompted officials to cancel the 31st annual powwow, scheduled for Sept. 3-5.

Community members are reminded to continue to:

  • Stay within a single household bubble.

  • Maintain physical distancing.

  • Wash/sanitize their hands regularly and avoid touching their face.

  • Wear a mask where required.

  • Stay home and seek testing if they're feeling unwell.

  • Take advantage of free vaccination clinics, if they haven't already done so.

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