Child removed from Cantley school after relative tests positive for COVID-19

A student at an elementary school in Cantley, Que. has been removed from class after a relative tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Draveurs School Board.

The positive test result came on the same day that some elementary schools in Quebec resumed classes for the first time since lockdown measures began.

Officials at L'Orée-des-Bois elementary school were notified of the positive test result around 11 a.m. on Monday morning by the child's parent, and immediately intervened, the school board's director general, Manon Dufour, said in a interview Tuesday.

Dufour would not say whether the person who tested positive lives with the child, citing privacy reasons.

She said public health officials had sufficient reason to believe the child was in close enough proximity to the affected person to warrant pulling the student out of school.

"This issue raises a lot of emotions, and I don't want to say anything that could lead to knowing which kid it is," said Dufour.

Risk of spread believed to be minimal

The child was isolated in a room with the school's principal, who wore gloves, a visor and gown while waiting for a parent to pick up the child.

"The kid was in school for the first day. So as soon as the principal received the phone call [about the result], she applied the reaction measures that we've planned," said Dufour.

The child respected personal hygiene and physically distancing rules during the short time they were in class, she said.

"This is our new life ... I'm so proud of the leadership of that school principal, and that whole team. They reacted very fast, very quick, and they did exactly the right thing that they needed to do. And it probably will happen again, and in another school," she said.

According to Dufour, about 170 children — or 40 per cent of the school student body — were in class Monday on the first day schools reopened in western Quebec. On Tuesday, only 150 students returned.

A spokesperson for Quebec's education minister said the child will now have to isolate at home for the next 14 days.

The official also said public health officials feel the risk of spread was minimized, since the student did not have prolonged contact with other individuals at the school.