Health officials in New Brunswick have announced that there’s been a confirmed case at Sugarloaf High School in Campbellton.
It’s the first school case that has been reported in the province since K-12 learning institutions opened for the fall semester.
The school has since temporarily closed, while students will learn remotely on Oct. 13 and Oct. 14. It will give teachers time to prepare for the transition to full-time online learning for the high school students who live in Quebec, after the province announced the suspension of non-essential travel between the two provinces on Thursday.
The closure of the school has provided time for cleaning and contact tracing, according to Sugarloaf Senior High School principal Michael O’Toole, who announced the case on Thursday to parents and guardians on the school’s Facebook page.
“We understand you may feel anxious over the coming days,” said O’Toole. “Public Health officials will contact you if your child has been in close contact with the confirmed case and will tell you if your child needs to self-isolate.”
Those who haven’t been contacted will be able to continue to attend school when it reopens.
Along with the news about the school-related case, New Brunswick officials announced 13 new patients on Friday. Twelve of them are in the Campbellton zone — which previously just had one case of COVID-19 — while one more patient has been identified in Moncton.
The cases range in age from 20-79 years old. One of the 13 cases is travel-related, as investigations into the other patients continue.
Upon the news, officials have decided to transition the Moncton and Campbellton regions to the “orange” level. It’s the second highest level as part of its COVID-19 recovery plan, which imposes further restrictions due to the heightened risk of COVID-19 in the community.
No link has been found between the outbreaks in Moncton and Campbellton upon an initial investigation.
Throughout New Brunswick, there are now 37 active cases of COVID-19 — the most since April 12. Twenty-one of those currently infected patients are in the Moncton region, 13 are in the Campbellton region, two in the Saint John region and one in the Fredericton region.
A rise in cases became a concern for New Brunswick after at least 19 cases were linked to an outbreak at Manoir Notre-Dame special care home in Moncton. That includes 17 cases that were announced on Wednesday, while there are now 150 people that are self-isolating in connection to the outbreak, said the province’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell.
Public health has also identified a potential public exposure to the virus at the McDonald’s Restaurant on Morton Avenue in Moncton. People who visited this location between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. from Sept. 28 to Oct. 5. should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days.