COVID-19 outbreak forces St. Joseph's Catholic High School in Windsor to close

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St. Joseph's Catholic High School. (Google Maps - image credit)
St. Joseph's Catholic High School. (Google Maps - image credit)

St. Joseph's Catholic High School in Windsor was shut down Wednesday due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) made the call after five confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported in the school. The most recent exposure date was Sept. 9, according to a statement from WECHU Wednesday.

The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board's website says three of those cases are students and one is a staff member.

"Based on the level of spread in our community, it is necessary to excuse students in order to limit the potential for spread in this setting. We are actively working to investigate cases tied to this school and provide guidance to those directly impacted," WECHU CEO Nicole Dupuis said in a statement.

Staff, students and visitors who attended the school between Sept. 7 to Sept. 9 and have not been deemed "high risk" — meaning their cohort has not been previously dismissed — have been ordered to get a COVID-19 test.

Anyone who has symptoms is asked to isolate and immediately get tested, "regardless of immunization status or previously negative test results."

The Catholic school board's director of education Emelda Byrne said they are working with the public health unit to keep everyone safe.

"The health and safety of students and staff remains our first priority and we will continue to inform the school community and implement all health and safety protocols to ensure a safe re-opening of the school in the near term," Byrne said in a statement.

St. Joseph's is one of nine Catholic schools with confirmed COVID-19 cases.

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