Ottawa Public Health Confirms COVID-19 Cases in Five Schools

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Ottawa Public Health says it is aware of positive cases of COVID-19 in five schools in the city; however, the source of each of the infections is unclear. In a statement to CTV News, OPH says it is aware of individuals at the following schools who have tested positive for COVID-19:

  • Laurier-Carrière Catholic Elementary School;
  • Sainte Anne Catholic Primary School;
  • Saint Francis of Assisi catholic elementary school;
  • Roger-Saint-Denis Catholic Primary School; and
  • Franco-West Catholic College high school

All schools are members of the Council of Central Catholic Schools (CECCE). The CECCE did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday. Classes resumed at many CECCE schools on September 3, although the council’s Ottawa High School high school students do not return until September 8.

“DPO works closely with school principals to investigate and directly contact close contacts to provide isolation guidelines and testing instructions, including information on how and when to get tested for COVID-19 », Indicates the press release. “Further details of people who have tested positive cannot be shared to protect the personal health information of those involved. ”

No outbreak has been declared. A school outbreak is officially defined as two positive cases of COVID-19 with a proven link between them; in other words, an epidemic is declared in a school when COVID-19 is transmitted within the school community. So far there is no evidence of this in Ottawa schools.

In a September 6 letter to parents and guardians of Laurier-Carrière students obtained by CTV News, OPH said it was working with the school to “review and confirm important practices to reduce the potential spread of COVID- 19 ”, such as screening children and staff before going to school, staying home during illness and other pandemic control measures.

“We recognize that receiving this information can be stressful and we want to make sure you understand the process ahead,” SPO said in the letter.

The public health unit then described the process by which cases of COVID-19 in schools are reported to families and close contacts.

“As part of its case and contact management process, SPO contacts every resident who receives a positive COVID-19 test to identify places they may have visited while they were contagious, obtain a list of all people with whom they have interacted and provide them with information about measures necessary to prevent further spread of infection, ”OPH said. “In the school setting, SPO also works with the school to identify cohorts of students and staff who may have been in close contact with the person in school or on school transportation, if applicable.

PHO stresses that if you do not receive a call directly from the health unit, then you or your child is not considered close contact and it is not necessary to be tested unless you have symptoms of COVID- 19 are present.

OPH said a similar letter was reportedly sent to staff and families of other affected schools.

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