COVID-19 outbreak closes Delhi elementary school, sends hockey players into quarantine

·2 min read

School is out indefinitely at St. Frances Cabrini in Delhi after the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit ordered the elementary school to close due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

As recently as Tuesday afternoon, officials at the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board thought nearly 100 students who were in self-isolation would be back in class next week.

Instead, all 310 students at St. Frances Cabrini transitioned to online learning for the foreseeable future on Wednesday.

The outbreak was declared Nov. 12. Ten students had tested positive as of Wednesday.

According to an email sent from the school to parents Tuesday evening, the health unit “confirmed additional cases of COVID-19 connected to our school community,” prompting the order to close.

“St. Frances will be closed while students and staff, who have been directed to do so, complete their self isolation,” the email read.

School custodians will “complete a thorough cleaning and disinfecting of the school before students and staff return.”

The outbreak initially closed four classrooms. The health unit said transmission on school buses was a factor in the spread of the virus.

Director of education Mike McDonald told The Spectator St. Frances Cabrini received “a large-scale ventilation upgrade” in 2009, and the board also made use of provincial pandemic funding to “further enhance” ventilation and airflow.

Hockey teams in quarantine

The rising COVID-19 case count in Delhi has also put some local minor hockey teams on ice.

“We are currently working with several teams that are under quarantine,” read a statement from Delhi Rockets Minor Hockey posted on the league’s website Tuesday night.

“Please continue to double check your team’s ice schedule for games and practices.”

In an email, a league spokesperson told The Spectator it was too soon to determine exactly how many players and teams are affected, as the situation with the school closure is still developing.

J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator

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