The New Brunswick Medical Society encourages the reinstatement of mask mandates in schools and child-care settings. COVID-19 is still very much present in the province, and with low vaccination rates in the 5-11 age group and children under five still not eligible to receive the vaccine, this is a simple measure that can help ensure children are able to remain healthy and attend classes. Masking in schools can also help slow the spread of the virus to vulnerable populations, as well as the many health-care and education professionals who are parents. Given the strong evidence that masking and vaccines are effective in reducing the spread and severity of the virus, New Brunswick needs to align with the rest of the Atlantic provinces in taking this step to enhance protection against COVID-19 in schools.
With the virus so prevalent in our province at the moment, we also need to ensure there is an adequate supply of rapid tests available for anyone who is experiencing symptoms or has had a recent exposure. It is important for individuals to stay home and limit their contacts when they are potentially positive for COVID-19. Easy access to testing is imperative to ensure people are not unknowingly exposing others to the virus.
Dr. Mark MacMillan
President, New Brunswick Medical Society