John Howitt, director of education for the Lambton Kent District School Board, said Tuesday they learned of the positive test that morning.
“A little after the start of the school day,” he says.
The person, who was tested late last week, was not at school on Tuesday, Howitt said. He declined to say whether it was a student or a staff member, citing patient privacy.
The school remained open on Tuesday because a single case does not trigger an outbreak, but two classes – a total of 45 students – were sent home to quarantine, Howitt said. Public health officials told them to quarantine until October 22, he said.
No staff were sent home. They were not considered direct contact because of the medical grade personal protective equipment they wore, Howitt said.
Lambton Public Health did not set up a conference call with Dr Sudit Ranade, its medical officer of health, on Tuesday. He usually answers questions by audio conference on the first working day of each week since the start of the pandemic.
But in a letter he co-wrote with the Chatham-Kent medical officer of health, Ranade said the two health units “work closely” with the school and contact all the people – students and staff – who could have been exposed to the new coronavirus.
But only close contacts will be called, he added.
“If you haven’t been contacted, you haven’t been in close contact with the confirmed case,” he wrote.
Still, he urged parents to continue monitoring their children for symptoms.
In an email to The Observer on Tuesday, a Lambton public health spokesperson said that a school epidemic would be triggered if two or more cases of COVID-19 were laboratory confirmed in students, staff or other visitors with an epidemiological link emerge within two weeks. period. A case could also be declared if health officials find out that a case may have been infected at school, including on a school bus or during after-school care.
“There is still a problem with the spread, but we really appreciate how seriously the Lambton Public Health Unit takes this stuff,” Howitt said. “They were very responsive in the way they suggested the quarantine.”
Howitt added online classrooms have already been created for quarantined students and electronic devices will be distributed as needed.
“The learning will continue, even during quarantine,” he said. “Unless, of course, there are students who are sick.”
Overall, a single confirmed active case of COVID-19 was reported by Lambton Public Health on Tuesday afternoon. There were no active local cases until the single case surfaced last weekend.
There have been 349 cases in total since March. Of these, 322 have been resolved and there have been 25 deaths.
Another patient who is not from Sarnia-Lambton and who is not counted in local public health data remained in hospital with confirmed COVID-19 on Tuesday, Bluewater Health reported.
A 61-year-old man presented to Bluewater Health after self-isolating on October 5 and was transferred to intensive care the next day, Bluewater Health officials said.