The Huron-Superior catholic District School Board (HSCDSB) has made the decision to close St. Mary's College, it states in email sent today to parents and guardians.
"The Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board is switching to virtual learning for all grades at St. Mary’s College on Thursday, April 8, 2021 and Friday, April 9, 2021," the email reads.
It also states that Algoma Public Health (APH) recommends that the entire Grade 9 cohort self-isolate following a confirmed COVID-19 case at the school was reported over the weekend.
A second individual associated with the school has tested positive for COVID-19, APH said in a notice issued today.
The full text of the APH notice dated April 7 follows:
Algoma Public Health (APH) is advising you that another individual associated with St. Mary’s College has tested positive for COVID-19. We recognize that receiving this information may be stressful. To help you understand what actions are being taken and what to expect please review the important information below.
At this time, APH is conducting a careful investigation to identify close contacts. Examples of close contacts include household members, people who have been in direct physical contact or belong to the same classroom/cohort, and people who have spent more than 15 minutes together within 2 metres or 6 feet of each other, such as while sharing a meal. Brief interactions, like walking past someone in a hallway are not generally considered close contact situations. At this time APH does not believe there is evidence of transmission within the school setting.
APH will notify all low risk and high risk contacts within the school setting via letter to provide further guidance and direction. Please be reassured that if you do not receive a low risk and/or high risk contact letter, your child is not considered a close contact of the person who tested positive for COVID-19, in which case we do not recommend having your child tested unless they are showing symptoms of COVID-19.
We are working with the school community to review and confirm important practices to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19, including:
• Screening children and staff
• Ill individuals should stay home and seek testing
• Household members of ill individuals must also stay home until there is a negative COVID-19 result
• Cohorting (grouping and separation of) students and staff
• Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces
• Using personal protective equipment when appropriate (e.g., masking, eye protection)
• Proper hand hygiene practices
• Posting signage of appropriate public health measures (e.g., hand hygiene, coughing and sneezing etiquette)
• Abilities and opportunities for children and staff to maintain physical distancing
• Identifying children and staff that may have been in greater contact with individuals who have tested positive
• Requiring that a person who has tested positive, and identified close contacts, not attend the child care centre for a prescribed period of time