Halifax elementary school temporarily closed to contain spread of COVID-19

·2 min read

HALIFAX — A Halifax-area school is being temporarily closed to contain the spread of COVID-19, Nova Scotia health officials announced Friday.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang said 14 cases have now been linked to Duc d'Anville Elementary School and the school will be closed to students from Oct. 12 to 15 to prevent further spread.

"More concerningly, from some of those cases, there's been widespread exposure beyond a single classroom in the school," Strang told reporters Friday. Public health will bump up testing and vaccination efforts in the surrounding community, and students and staff will have to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before they return to class on Oct. 18, Strang said.

Remote learning will begin Tuesday, after the Thanksgiving holiday, he said.

It marks the first time during the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that public health officials have shut down a school in Nova Scotia.

But Strang said the situation was not an outbreak.

"What we're trying to avoid is a widespread outbreak with transmission in the school," he said.

Health officials said the cases were likely the result of "multiple introductions" from staff, teachers and students.

"People may be infectious when they go back home, somebody else in their family then becomes infected, and they reintroduce the virus into the school," Strang said. "So there's this movement back and forth of the virus between community and school, all of which points out to, ultimately, why schools can't be viewed in isolation from their surrounding community."

Meanwhile, the province reported 25 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and 38 more recoveries from the disease. Officials said 17 new cases were in the Halifax area, four were in the province's eastern zone, three cases were in the northern zone and one was in the western zone.

There were 234 active reported cases of COVID-19 across the province and 15 people in hospital with the disease, including four in intensive care.

About 81.5 per cent of Nova Scotians had at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine and nearly 76 per cent were fully vaccinated.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 8, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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