The number of coronavirus infections involving local schools has risen by one after Conseil scolaire Viamonde, the public French-language secular school board, reported that a case had been confirmed involving a staff member at one of its London elementary schools.
The case involves a member of La Pommeraie, an elementary school located along Settlement Trail in southwest London, the school board said on its website.
In an emailed statement, Julie Vanghelder, director of communications for Conseil scolaire Viamonde, told 980 CFPL the board learned on Monday of the positive diagnosis and notified the school community and staff members the same day.
“As directed by Middlesex-London Health Unit, we have dismissed the individuals who were known to have been in close-contact with the person who is ill during the infectious period,” Vanghelder said.
“Those identified as close contacts are contacted directly by the Middlesex-London Health Unit and are provided with further guidance. The individual who is ill is at home isolating and will return to school when recovered.”
The school remains open and has been cleaned multiple times since as part of the school board’s enhanced cleaning protocol, she said. Further details were not available.
“We cannot give more information for privacy matters,” Vanghelder said.
It’s the fourth case to be reported in the immediate London region involving an elementary or secondary school.
The first was reported on Sept. 21 involving a student at H.B. Beal Secondary School.
Officials with the Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) said at the time there was no evidence the case resulted from contact at the school, which remained open following the positive diagnosis.
The case was not considered active as of Tuesday, according to the TVDSB website.
Another case was reported last Tuesday in St. Thomas at the city’s Mitchell Hepburn Public School, which is also operated by TVDSB.
Southwestern Public Health, the health unit that oversees Elgin and Oxford counties, said last week that the source of the infection was known, and that the individual did not contract it at the school.
That case also involved a student and was still considered active as of Tuesday.
A probable case was also reported by SWPH involving a member of the school community at St. Thomas Community Christian School, a private school, on Sept. 28.
It was not clear whether the case involved a student or staff member of the school. A SWPH spokesperson said the case had since been deemed resolved and that students had returned to school.
A probable case is defined by the province as a case in a person who has not had a laboratory test but has symptoms compatible with the coronavirus and who has either travelled to an affected area, had close contact with an already confirmed case, or lived or worked in a facility known to be experiencing an outbreak.