New Brunswick’s Green MLAs say that the government needs to take immediate steps to reduce the transmission of COVID in the province’s hardest hit communities so students can go back to school, while also ensuring that healthcare workers are better protected.
“The government should implement the Level 3 measures to limit public gatherings to slow the spread of COVID in communities with major outbreaks,” says David Coon, Green Party leader and MLA for Fredericton South. “This will reduce community spread and should ease the pressure on our hospitals, enabling students to return to school more quickly.”
The Saint John region has 3,176 active cases with 40 of the Saint John Regional Hospital’s 43 ICU beds filled, while Moncton has 2,152 active cases with 11 out of 14 ICU beds occupied at the Georges Dumont Regional Hospital.
“We know that what happens in the schools is reflective of the extent of transmission in the community,” said Megan Mitton, the Green critic for Education and Early Childhood Development and MLA for Memramcook-Tantramar. “The government needs to be proactive to reduce community transmission so students can return to the classroom.”
Many workers in New Brunswick do not have access to paid sick days; however will be required to stay home to isolate after contracting COVID-19, or being the close contact of a family member who has.
“More needs to be done to protect healthcare workers, and all of those on the front-lines,” said Kevin Arseneau, the Green advocate for strengthening communities and MLA for Kent North. “This includes providing paid sick days for all workers, distributing N-95 masks to reduce the risks of front-line workers contracting the virus, and making investments in our healthcare system to make it more resilient.”