Three more Hamilton schools to offer asymptomatic testing this week

·2 min read

Three more Hamilton schools are offering asymptomatic COVID-19 testing this week.

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board will offer asymptomatic testing at Orchard Park Secondary School in Stoney Creek on Friday for students and staff at the high school.

Orchard Park’s feeder elementary schools — Eastdale, Green Acres, South Meadow, R.L. Hyslop and Winona — are also eligible.

This is the second time testing will be offered at Orchard Park, which was part of a Feb. 13 pilot clinic.

At the Catholic board, testing will be available at Cathedral Catholic High School in central Hamilton on Friday for asymptomatic students and staff at the school and at Cathedral Children’s Centre.

On Saturday, testing at the school will be for the feeder schools, Holy Name of Jesus, St. Ann Hamilton, St. Eugene, St. Lawrence, St. Luke, St. John the Baptist, St. Patrick, Sts. Peter & Paul.

Hamilton public health says the rapid antigen test, which is being used at both Orchard Park and Cathedral, is “less invasive” than the nasopharyngeal swab.

St. Eugene Catholic Elementary School is using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, lab-based and more accurate than rapid tests, at its clinic on Thursday evening. An outbreak was declared Feb. 23 at the east Hamilton elementary school, which has had four confirmed cases of the virus.

PCR tests will be used as directed by public health “during an outbreak investigation.”

“PCR tests will also be used for close contacts of confirmed cases,” said spokesperson James Berry in a Feb. 26 email to The Spectator.

No cases were found among the more than 250 asymptomatic tests conducted at Hamilton schools last week. HWCDSB chair Pat Daly told The Spectator on Monday the board had “expected somewhat of a higher turnout” among students.

Kate McCullough, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator