Parents and staff will be notified of COVID-19 cases in schools, OPH promises

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Ottawa Public Health (OPH) says it will be transparent with educators and parents of children who may have come into contact with a positive case of COVID-19 at school, even when an outbreak has not been declared.During a teleconference Tuesday, Vera Etches, Ottawa’s medical officer of health, said an epidemic would be declared when two people in a single school tested positive and both cases were linked to the school environment. The policy is in line with the draft provincial guidelines, she said.

This definition departs from how PHO has defined outbreaks in other facilities so far during the pandemic. In long-term care homes and daycares, for example, a single confirmed case prompts authorities to declare an outbreak and is made public online.

Etches said all outbreaks in schools will also be reported to the general public; however, if a single case is discovered in a school, a public health nurse will phone all potential contacts to inform them of the next steps and if they also need testing.

“Everyone understands that parents want as much information as possible,” Etches said.

“Locally in Ottawa, what’s important is having the information you need to protect your family and make decisions yourself. So really, for the parents of a school where there is a case, and which has not been declared an outbreak, we will communicate the parents who need to know. ”

First death in August declared

OPH reported the city’s first death from COVID-19 this month, bringing the total number of deaths since the start of the pandemic to 265.

Tuesday’s update marks the first death in the city since July 28.

There are eight new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, for a total of 108 active cases. Twenty-one more cases were marked as resolved, for a total of 2,355.

OPH reported two new outbreaks at long-term care homes across the city after one staff member tested positive at Residence Saint-Louis and another at Billingwood Manor. There are now five institutional outbreaks in Ottawa.

Twelve people remain hospitalized with COVID-19, with one patient currently in intensive care.

The province processed 23,000 tests on Monday

Ontario is reporting 125 new cases of the disease, a slight increase from recent days.

The Ontario health minister said this was mostly attributed to localized increases, with 17 new cases in Peel, 27 in Toronto and 28 in Windsor-Essex.

Christine Elliott added that 27 of the province’s 34 public health units reported five or fewer cases on Monday. Sixteen reported no new cases.

Across the province, 23,000 tests for COVID-19 were processed on Monday.

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