Quaker Road Public School’s active COVID-19 case count jumps to six

·2 min read

Two classrooms have been closed at Quaker Road Public School after Niagara Region Public Health reported Thursday another four individuals there have tested positive for COVID-19.

That brings the case count to six for the Welland school at First Avenue.

The two previous cases were announced on Monday and Tuesday.

District School Board of Niagara said in a news release it would not disclose the the individuals who tested positive were students or staff.

School boards in Niagara have a policy not to make that distinction; more information on the cases won’t be available until the provincial school-related COVID-19 database is updated.

While an outbreak has not been declared, provincial guidelines indicate “an outbreak in a school is defined as two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in school with an epidemiological link, within a 14-day period, where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection.”

On on Jan. 12 the province implemented new health and safety measures for schools. Among them, a requirement that school boards implement enhanced screening protocols and targeted testing.

Carolyn LoConte, DSBN communications officer, confirmed the public health department is not recommending schoolwide asymptomatic testing be conducted at Quaker Road.

“All of the enhanced safety measures that we have in place in our schools, with direction from Niagara Region Public Health and the Ministry of Education are in place at Quaker Road PS,” DSBN said in its release.

“These include, but are not limited to, students remaining in their cohorts, enhanced cleaning of the affected areas, not permitting non-essential visitors, students and staff doing the daily health screening, and students wear their masks in grades 1 to 8.”

Custodians will complete thorough cleaning of the school. A public health inspector and a public health nurse will then visit to conduct a comprehensive assessment.

“Quaker Road Public School will continue to follow the preventative COVID-19 practices that schools have in place, such as wearing required PPE, physical distancing, maintaining hand hygiene and doing the daily health screening,” said DSBN.

“As part of COVID-19 case management and infection control protocol, students and staff who had close contact with the individuals have been contacted and told by NRPH to stay home and self-isolate,” LoConte added.

Sean Vanderklis is a Niagara-based reporter for the Niagara Falls Review. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him via email: svanderklis@metroland.com

Sean Vanderklis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Niagara Falls Review