COVID-19 outbreaks declared at three Hamilton elementary schools

·2 min read

Hamilton public health has declared COVID-19 outbreaks at three elementary schools.

An outbreak was declared on Tuesday at Ancaster Meadow Elementary School after two students tested positive for the virus — one on March 26 and one on March 30.

In a March 30 letter to families, the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board said the school “will contact any students or staff identified as close contacts, who will self-isolate for 14 days.”

An outbreak was also declared at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Elementary School on the Mountain. Since March 27, five students have tested positive at the school.

There are currently two classes or cohorts closed at the school, according to the board’s daily COVID-19 advisory.

Both schools are listed on public health’s website as having “no variant” linked to the outbreak.

A third outbreak was declared the same day at St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Elementary School on the Mountain after two students tested positive for the virus.

“The outbreak is related to the class cohort that is currently in quarantine,” a March 30 letter to families reads. A third positive case was reported on Wednesday.

As of March 31, two classes or cohorts at the school are currently closed.

A school outbreak is defined by the province “as two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases ... with an epidemiological link, within a 14-day period, where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the school.”

There are currently 14 ongoing outbreaks at Hamilton schools — seven public, six Catholic and one at a French school — about half linked to variants of concern.

In March, Hamilton schools reported more than 300 cases of the virus, the vast majority in the last two weeks. This month’s numbers are more than double the previous record of 115 cases in December.

Kate McCullough, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator