2 cases of COVID-19 detected in Nova Scotia schools

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Two people in schools in Nova Scotia have tested positive for COVID-19, making them the first school-related cases in the province.

One person is at Graham Creighton Junior High in Cherry Brook and the other is at Auburn Drive High in Cole Harbour, according to a news release from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development on Monday evening.

Sarah Levy MacLeod, a spokesperson for the department, said to protect the privacy of the individuals involved, they cannot share whether they are students or staff members.

Neither attended school on Monday. They are self-isolating at home.

Public Health will be in touch with close contacts. Everyone who was in a class with the two people who tested positive for COVID-19 is also being tested and asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

Students will be supported to learn at home, said the release.

A letter from Graham Creighton principal, Scott Hickman, on Monday evening said they were working to identify those students and staff who may have been in close contact with the confirmed case last Thursday and Friday.

Only members of the school community who are directed to stay home are required to do so.

"We have already shared information with potential close contacts so if you have not been contacted, your child can continue to attend school," Hickman wrote.

On the advice of Public Health, both schools will remain open.

Hickman said that on Tuesday, school staff will connect with those families to identify what learning materials and technology they need and make a plan to deliver these resources.

Staff will also be focused on ensuring that everyone who is required to self-isolate does not come to school Tuesday, he said.

Enhanced cleaning protocols have been in place since school opened in September. Since the possible exposure occurred last week, the high-touch surfaces in the school have been sanitized each night as usual, Hickman said.

"Children and young people look to the adults in their lives to guide them on how to react to worrying and stressful events. Parents are encouraged to talk to their children about any anxieties and remind them to treat one another with kindness and respect, in person and on social media," Hickman said.

MacLeod said these two cases are in addition to the other two cases reported Monday in Nova Scotia.

Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang will provide an update to the public Tuesday at 3 p.m.

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