Children and employees of a Campbellton daycare attended by a child diagnosed last week with COVID-19 have all tested negative for the disease, the owner says.
Cécile Castonguay says it's business as usual at her Bouts Choux daycare.
But about 35 people the child may have come into contact with through a second daycare in Balmoral, about 20 minutes southeast of Campbellton, have been placed in quarantine for 14 days.
That daycare, Tourbillon de Soleil, is closed until further notice.
The owner declined to be interviewed, but confirmed the child was there for one day, May 19, when daycares in the province reopened, and that she and her four employees, as well as 14 children and their parents, are now under quarantine.
he child developed a fever overnight May 19 and was quickly tested.
The province announced an active case of COVID-19 involving a person under the age of 19 in the Campbellton region on May 21.
The child's parents, who both work in health care, declined to be interviewed.
They said they followed all the rules to the letter and don't understand how their child could have become infected.
Still under investigation
The one active case of COVID-19 in New Brunswick in the Campbellton region remains under investigation, said Department of Health spokesperson Bruce Macfarlane.
"Although community transmission has not been confirmed, it is important for residents of Zone 5 to be aware of any symptoms," he said in an emailed statement.
Macfarlane said he could not comment on the status of specific daycares.
"As per normal protocols, and previously described numerous times, Public Health notifies individuals who are close contacts of a case," he said.
he child normally attends the Tourbillon de Soleil daycare in Balmoral.
During the pandemic, however, the child had been attending the Bouts Choux daycare in Campbellton, which remained open for essential workers, said Castonguay.
May 15 was the child's last day at her daycare, she said.
On May 21, Castonguay received a call from Public Health advising her the child had tested positive, but she was told not to worry because the child was not contagious during the time with her.
"She just wanted to tell me, let me know. So she said, 'Everything is OK.'"
The following day, Public Health called again.
"She said, 'I think for prevention, everybody should go for a COVID test.' That's what we did. I closed the daycare at noon, I called all the parents and we went for the COVID test and everybody [was] negative," said Castonguay, referring to herself, her employee, three children who are still at her daycare and four other children who have moved back to other daycares.
Castonguay said she was confident the tests would be negative. She has been following Public Health's directives, including taking the children's temperatures and checking for symptoms.
"We're doing all in our power to keep the place safe and clean and disinfected and everything," she said.
"I've got the faith too, so that helps," she added.
Child doing 'OK'
Balmoral Mayor Charles Bernard said the infected child is doing "OK." So is the child's parents.
He received an update from a member of their family on Sunday, he said.
Some people in the village have been asking questions about the confirmed case, said Bernard.
"The answer is … we don't have to, you know, to be afraid of anything. Just continue to follow the regular rules that have been put in place by government and everything should be OK," he said.
Bernard learned of the case on May 21, when the daycare owner called to let the village office know she had been ordered by Public Health to close.
"We were happy that they advised us," he said. "We've done what we had to do as a municipality to make sure that nobody from our staff had been … in contact with that kid or that family. So everything is fine and dandy up until now."
All anyone can do is wait for Public Health to finish its investigation to determine the source, and for the 14-day quarantine to end to see if anyone who was exposed develops symptoms, said Bernard.
Symptoms of COVID-19 can include: a fever above 38 C, a new cough or worsening chronic cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, new onset of fatigue, new onset of muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell, and difficulty breathing. In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes.
A COVID-19 self-assessment tool is available on Public Health's website to help residents determine if they should be tested for the disease. Anyone who does exhibit symptoms is asked to contact Tele-Care 811 for further direction.