In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, Ottawa Public Health says it is starting to see some students and staff getting sick from interactions at school.
“The first cases involved students and staff who went to school not knowing they were sick with COVID, which means they were infected with COVID outside of school,” said the Ottawa Public Health news release.
“Over the past few weeks, PHO is starting to see that some students and staff are now getting sick from interactions at school. These are situations where PHO declares an outbreak.
Cases of COVID-19 have been reported in 52 schools with the Ottawa Carleton District School Board, the Ottawa Catholic School Board, and French and Catholic school boards.
Speaking on CTV Morning Live Thursday morning, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches said her goal was to keep schools open during the pandemic, adding that this required limiting the transmission of COVID-19 in the community.
Ottawa Public Health says that once an outbreak is confirmed in a school, it reaches out to parents of close contact to educate them and help them with next steps, including staying home, monitoring for symptoms and presenting to testing when appropriate.
COVID-19 outbreaks have been reported in the following Ottawa schools:
- Montfort Catholic Elementary School
Gabrielle Roy Public School
Claudel High School
Monsignor Paul Baxter School
Ottawa Public Health has ordered the closure of Monsignor Paul Baxter School for at least two weeks following four cases of COVID-19. Two students and two staff members tested positive.
Ottawa Public Health says that in the event of an outbreak at a school, the school’s ability to remain open will depend on the number of groups of students affected. Some cohorts may be invited to get tested and self-isolate at home until a date determined by SPO.
“If there is sufficient evidence to indicate that there is a risk of spread to additional cohorts, there may be a decision to close the entire school in order to stop transmission in the school.
Here is a breakdown of COVID-19 cases in Ottawa schools:
Ottawa Carleton District School Board: nine students (eight students, one teacher tested positive)
Ottawa Catholic School Board: 11 schools (14 students, two staff tested positive)
Conseil des ecole Catholique Center-Est: 21 schools (32 cases in all schools)
Council of Public Schools of Eastern Ontario: 11 schools (15 student cases in schools)