New outbreak declared at Windsor-Essex school involves variant of concern

·2 min read
A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at St. John Vianney Catholic Elementary School. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)
A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at St. John Vianney Catholic Elementary School. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at St. John Vianney Catholic Elementary School in Windsor.

The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board made the announcement on Monday morning.

In a news release, the board said public health officials made the declaration after receiving confirmation that of an additional case in one of two cohorts dismissed on April 6. The update has yet to be reflected on the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit's website as of Monday morning.

"As per provincial direction, a school outbreak is declared if there are two or more cases in a school and if there is evidence that at least one case could have been infected in the school," the board said in a statement.

According to the board's website, there are three cases of COVID-19 active within the school.

The board said a COVID-19 variant of concern has been identified in the cohort. Those who may have been affected are being contacted by the health unit.

The board said the rest of the school community is considered low risk and can continue attending as usual. Schools are currently on spring break.

There are 22 active cases of COVID-19 within the Catholic board, its website shows. The public school board has seen 17 cases declared since the beginning of the month, according to its website.

There are two other outbreaks active at other schools in the region — Centennial Central Public School and St. Peter Catholic School.

Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health for the region, said Monday that Windsor-Essex is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases within schools, with many cohorts dismissed.

"We are monitoring the cases in our schools to assess any changes in the local risk," he said at the health unit's daily briefing, adding that he'll provide an update if the risk changes or a switch to online learning becomes necessary.