57 active cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa schools as public health continues weekend testing blitzes
OTTAWA -- Ottawa Public Health wrapped up a fourth weekend of rapid COVID-19 testing blitzes targeting Ottawa's schools, on the eve of new requirements for asymptomatic testing of students and staff in schools.
Starting Monday, school boards in Ontario will be required to conduct asymptomatic testing of staff and students in at least five per cent of schools within their jurisdiction every week.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce tells CTV News Ottawa that while COVID-19 rates are low in schools right now, it's important to keep layers of protection in place.
"The first is the necessity to keep our guard up, because we're doing something right. I think parents, quite obviously, are helping to limit congregation of their kids, which is following our stricter protocol," said Lecce in an interview with CTV News at Six anchor Stefan Keyes.
"To be fair, the work in our schools – the layers of protection are working to limit the spread of COVID."
Ottawa Public Health conducted a two-day rapid testing clinic at St. Patrick's High School, targeting schools in the Alta Vista and St. Laurent area over the weekend. It was the fourth straight weekend public health and its health partners conducted a rapid testing clinic in areas of Ottawa.
Public health released new data on Friday that showed rapid testing clinics targeting students, staff and their families at 47 schools in Ottawa identified nine students with cases of COVID-19. A total of 994 students were tested for COVID-19 during clinics over the previous three weekends, with nine students testing positive. There were 11 additional cases in 1,342 non-students identified over the three weekends.
"The numbers are low. I think it's about 0.85 per cent in Ottawa according to the 47 schools that had pop-up testing, that is a low rate," said Lecce on Sunday evening.
"But it actually, I think, it should provide a bit of hope that the schools can be safe, but also inspire us all to continue to follow the rules. We just don't want to put at risk the safety of schools and the importance of keeping them open in Ontario."
In a memo to school boards last week, Lecce encouraged boards to prioritize asymptomatic testing in areas with high rates of COVID-19 transmission, as well as those "where access to current testing programs may be challenging."
57 ACTIVE CASES OF COVID-19 IN OTTAWA'S SCHOOLS
According to data available on Ottawa's four publicly funded school boards websites Sunday afternoon, there are 57 active cases of COVID-19 at 42 schools across Ottawa.
The Ottawa Carleton District School Board, Ottawa Catholic School Board, the Conseil des ecoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario and Conseil des ecoles catholiques du Centre-Est list active cases of COVID-19 at all schools. Both Ottawa public school boards also list any staff members with COVID-19.
According to the Ottawa Carleton District School Board's website, 29 students and three staff members at 22 schools have active cases of COVID-19. There are 11 active cases involving students at eight schools in the Ottawa Catholic School Board.
There are more than 300 elementary and secondary schools in Ottawa.
The Ottawa Public Health COVID-19 dashboard shows health officials have declared COVID-19 outbreaks at three Ottawa schools: Charles H. Hulse Public School, St. Patrick's High School and Ecole secondaire Catholique Franco-Cite.
A COVID-19 outbreak at a school is defined as two or more lab-confirmed cases in students and/or staff in a school with an epidemiological link, within a 14-day period, where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the school.
On Sunday, the health unit reported a total of 476 active cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa.
Here is a look at the active cases of COVID-19 at each Ottawa school board:
Ottawa Carleton District School Board
- Adult High School (one student case)
- Bell High School (three student cases)
- Gloucester High School (three student cases)
- Merivale High School (one staff case)
- Sir Guy Carleton Secondary School (one student case)
- Bayshore Public School (one staff case)
- Bells Corners Public School (One student case)
- Castor Valley Elementary School (one student case)
- Cedarview Middle School (one student case)
- Chapman Mills Public School (one student case)
- Charles H. Hulse Public School (three student cases)
- Glen Ogilvie Public School (one student case)
- Hawthorne Public School (one student case)
- Henry Larsen Elementary School (one student case)
- Knoxdale Public School (one student case)
- Manor Park Public School (one student case)
- Queen Elizabeth Public School (one student case)
- Robert E. Wilson Public School (three student cases, one staff case)
- Roberta Bondar Public School (two student cases)
- Roch Carrier Elementary School (one student case)
- Stonecrest Elementary School (one student case)
- Vimy Ridge Public School (one student case)
Ottawa Catholic School Board
- Holy Trinity Catholic High School (one student case)
- Notre Dame High School (one student case)
- St. Joseph High School (two student cases)
- St. Patrick's High School (two student cases)
- St. Peter High School (two student cases)
- Holy Cross School (one student case)
- St. Emily School (one student case)
- St. Michael School In Fitzroy (one student case)
Conseil des ecoles catholiques du Centre-Est
- Académie catholique Notre-Dame (two cases)
- Collège catholique Franco-Ouest (One case)
- École élémentaire catholique Au Coeur d'Ottawa (one case)
- École élémentaire catholique Saint-François-d’Assise (one case)
- École élémentaire catholique Terre-des-Jeunes (one case)
- École secondaire catholique Franco-Cité (two cases)
- Éducation permanente (one case)
- La Source, enseignement personnalisé (one case)
- Lamoureux, enseignement personnalisé (One case)
Conseil des ecoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario
- Ecole elementaire publique Des Sentiers (one case)
- Ecole elementaire publique Francojeunesse (one case)
- Ecole elementaire publique Jeanne- Sauvé (one case)
With files from CP24's Chris Fox
There are 57 active cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa's schools, not 54 as previously stated in the article.