On September 19, Education Minister Dominic Cardy announced that any child 12 or older will be banned from school sports until proof of double vaccination is provided.
As of September 27, there were 628 active cases in New Brunswick, most of which are due to the highly transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant.
“When you have a more transmissible variant – also known as a more fit variant – you’re going to see a takeover. It’s more fit than the Alpha variant. It’s more transmissible, and we’re seeing it take over as the more dominant variant here in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada, and quite frankly, in many other parts of the world,” said Dr. Isaac Bogoch, infectious disease specialist.
The feelings of parents seem to be mixed, but overall positive. David Coon, New Brunswick’s Green Party leader, is positive that this was the safest decision to protect from the Delta variant.
“I am assuming the step was taken in response to recommendations from public health. If that is so, I have no doubt it was the best decision in order to minimize the spread of the Delta variant,” said Coon.
Dominic Cardy assured parents that the safety of their children is top priority.
“Anything at all that we can do to protect your kids, I’ll be front of the line to do that. And we’re going to do our very best to make sure school is as safe as possible for your kids to to come back to and feel safe at once they’re through this horrible disease.”
While at school, children are required to adhere to their classroom bubbles, including field trips and activities outside of the classroom.
These precautions will be maintained by encouraging outdoor activities, allowing students to maintain a greater distance apart.
Students 12 and over who do not have a medical exemption must provide proof of double vaccination to partake in outdoor or indoor extracurricular/intramural sports.
It is encouraged that students who usually take the bus are taken to school by a parent or guardian to reduce risk of transmission on busses.
“There will be consideration of more to come, as needed,” explained Cardy, assuring the public that the government will reevaluate if necessary.