St. Joseph's high school to reopen following COVID-19 outbreak

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St. Joseph's Catholic High School was shut down on Sept. 15 after five COVID-19 cases were identified. (Chris Ensing/CBC - image credit)
St. Joseph's Catholic High School was shut down on Sept. 15 after five COVID-19 cases were identified. (Chris Ensing/CBC - image credit)

A Windsor high school that was shut down about a week into the school year due to a COVID-19 outbreak will reopen its doors on Thursday, the school board says.

St. Joseph's Catholic High School has been inspected by local public health officials and given the green light to resume in-person learning, a spokesperson for the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board said in a media release on Tuesday.

The school has been closed since Sept. 15 after an outbreak of COVID-19 was declared, and students have been learning remotely since then.

According to the board's website, there are 10 active cases at the school, including two among staff members.

The board said students who were confirmed cases and high-risk contacts have completed isolation requirements, but anyone ordered by public health to continue isolating beyond Sept. 23 must continue to do so.

The health unit is holding a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the school on Friday. Windsor-Essex public health officials have previously said that the school covers an area that has a lower vaccination rate compared to the regional average.

It's been two weeks since students returned to the classroom for the first time since the spring. In total, five school outbreaks have been declared, including the one at St. Joseph's.

There are 23 active cases of COVID-19 within schools in the Catholic board, prompting dismissals of hundreds of students who were potentially exposed. Since Sept. 17, however, the board says a dozen cases have been resolved, and 13 classes of students have been cleared to return to school.

In the Greater Essex County District School Board, there have been 27 COVID-19 cases since the school year began.

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