Children over 2 and staff at N.B. daycares will need to wear masks starting Tuesday

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New Brunswick has imposed a mask mandate for daycares and early learning centres.

Starting Tuesday, children aged two and older and staff will be required to wear masks in common indoor areas and when they are using transportation services offered by the facility.

"This means that these children will be required to bring two clean face masks with them every day," said a news release sent out on behalf of Public Health and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

The province says the changes are included in an update on preventing the spread of communicable diseases in daycare facilities that deals specifically with controlling the spread of COVID-19.

"The update strongly encourages the vaccination of staff and requires early learning and child-care facilities to keep visitors logs and to prepare procedures to manage outbreaks," the release said. "This guidance was developed through ongoing collaboration with Public Health and supports protocols currently used by licensed child-care facilities. The full document is available online."

Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy says the changes will help protect New Brunswick’s youngest learners.

"While we wait for vaccinations to become available for children under 12, we continue to count on communities to help keep children healthy and safe," Cardy said. "We strongly encourage everyone who is able to be vaccinated to do so, especially educators and other staff working with young children."

OUTBREAK DECLARED AT HÔTEL-DIEU SAINT-JOSEPH DE SAINT-QUENTIN

Public Health has declared an outbreak of COVID-19 at the Hôtel-Dieu Saint-Joseph de Saint-Quentin after confirming two positive cases of COVID-19 at the hospital. Public Health and the Vitalité Health Network are investigating, but they say the risk to the public is considered low.

COVID-19 CASE UPDATE

Public Health reported 14 new cases on Friday and nine recoveries, leaving the total number of active cases at 126.

  • There are six new cases in Zone 1 (Moncton region), four of which are under investigation and two are contacts of a previously confirmed case.
  • There are two cases in Zone 2 (Saint John region) and both are travel related.
  • There is one case in Zone 3 (Fredericton region) who is a contact of a previously confirmed case.
  • There are three cases in Zone 4 (Edmundston region) and all are contacts of a previously confirmed case.
  • There is one case in Zone 6 (Bathurst region) who is a contact of a previously confirmed case.
  • There is one case in Zone 7 (Miramichi region) that is travel related.
  • There are three people hospitalized due to the virus, with two in an intensive care unit.

Since July 1, New Brunswick Public Health has kept data on the vaccination status of all people who have tested positive for COVID-19. A spokesperson for the Public Health said Friday that "privacy laws" prevented the department from releasing the breakdown for Friday's cases, but they did provide a snapshot of data that was prepared Aug. 30. It reflects data gathered since July 1, 2021.

Of the 427 confirmed cases between July 1 and Aug. 30, 326 (76.3 per cent) were among people who were not vaccinated, 57 (13.3 per cent) were people who were partially vaccinated, and 44 (10.3 per cent) were people who were fully vaccinated.

Additional information is available on the COVID-19 dashboard.

VACCINATION UPDATE

Public Health said Friday that 75.8 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 84.9 per cent have received their first dose.

Public Health reported more than 2,400 doses of vaccine were administered across the province on Thursday, including 900 first doses.

To get the vaccine, you can go to a walk-in clinic or book an appointment through a participating pharmacy or at a Vitalité or Horizon health network clinic.

If you're eligible for the vaccine, you can you’re your second-dose appointment for a date 28 days after your first dose.

When you go to a vaccination clinic, bring your Medicare card, a signed consent form and, if you're receiving a second dose, a copy of the record of immunization provided after receiving your first dose.

A list of upcoming mobile and walk-in clinics is available online.