School, church close in Barrie after dozens of COVID-19 cases confirmed – .

School, church close in Barrie after dozens of COVID-19 cases confirmed – .

A private school and a nearby church in Barrie are closed after more than 20 cases of COVID-19 were identified at the school.

Pastor Brett Pennell told CTV News Barrie that 25 cases were confirmed at Heritage Christian Academy last week. The school has a student population of around 110.

It is not known which variants of COVID-19 are the infections.

“As soon as we heard of any cases, we put the school online,” the school principal Pennell said on Friday. “We sent everyone home that day, immediately switched to e-learning to try to limit the spread as much as possible. “

Out of caution, Pennell said the Baptist Heritage Church was also closed due to its proximity to the school.

Pennell is also the senior pastor of the church.

An epidemic has not been declared at the church, but services have been temporarily moved online.

Pennell said there is a possibility of cross-contamination, as many people at the school are also members of the congregation.

He added that the Simcoe Muskoka health unit had not ordered the facilities to close, but he and officials had taken a proactive approach to curbing the spread of the virus.

“We made these decisions ourselves in the best interests of the health and well-being of the church community,” he said.

Simcoe Muskoka reported 117 new cases of COVID-19 and 32 active outbreaks in the region on Friday, including 25 schools.

-With files from CTV News Barrie’s Kim Phillips


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