COVID-19 at your child's school?

·2 min read

When it comes to the pandemic and you’re the parent of a school-age child — no news is good news.

If there’s no risk to your child, you won’t be informed.

Chatham-Kent’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Colby made the comments following the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in area schools.

As of Monday, no East Kent schools have been affected, although a case was detected at Ursuline College Chatham.

Colby says preparedness has been key in the successful containment of the virus and he credits thorough planning and record keeping by both school boards in the effort.

As a result contact tracing is much easier.

Lambton Kent District School Board education director John Howitt says calm is key in handling the novel coronavirus as is a “mountain of planning.”

Howitt says the board is “on ready” when it comes to the pandemic, ensuring operations continue, adding safety protocols come before emotion.

Colby agrees, adding protocol breakdown leads to transmission of the virus.

“Every case that we see represents some kind of breakdown in some form of our precautionary measures,” he adds.

Nearly all of Chatham-Kent’s recent 30-plus cases in the past two weeks can sourced to a case at Blenheim’s Word of Life church.

But Colby explains that even though a church was the source of the virus, he has no plans to change the way Chatham-Kent worships.

“We’re not considering more regulations,” Colby notes, adding there are many churches operating that “are not associated with any cases.”

He says worshippers at the Blenheim congregation were following public health rules, however the building’s small size may have contributed to the spread.

“We know that singing can make a difference and crowding can make a difference,” Colby explains.

A outbreak at a group living residence is being managed Colby says, adding the affected individuals are isolating in place.

No exact numbers are available but there are an estimated 400 people isolating.

Many of the cases in schools have already returned to the classroom.

Pam Wright, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Herald