The Official Opposition critic for Education and Early Childhood development is calling on Minister Dominic Cardy to bring a rapid testing program to New Brunswick schools.
“Schools are being closed across the province, children are self-isolating or waiting at home to hear from contact tracers, frankly the situation is getting out of hand” says Benoît Bourque, the Liberal Education and Early Childhood Development critic. “Something must be done immediately, and the Liberal Opposition strongly supports regular rapid testing in classrooms as a way of managing the spread of the virus.”
On CBC Information-Morning Fredericton, University of Toronto epidemiologist Colin Furness suggested the use of rapid testing as a way of protecting children but also to help public health identify and treat the infected families.
“We need to be using the rapid tests strategically. Regularly testing children, especially those under 12 who cannot be vaccinated, will have the most impact on the spread of the virus” says Benoît Bourque. “We have received over 1.15 million rapid tests and have only used or distributed about 586 thousand. We have the supplies, what we are lacking is government leadership.”
With the 2021-22 school year so far plagued with a shortage of bus drivers, many positive Covid-19 cases and numerous school closures, Benoît Bourque questions why we haven’t heard from Minister Cardy. “Where is the Minister? Why have we not seen him at a press conference in recent weeks? The situation in our school system will not get better on its own, and it can certainly not keep going like this all year. Bring rapid testing into our schools now.”