A child and youth worker with the Toronto Catholic District School Board has died after contracting coronavirus.
Sources told Global News the educational employee, a woman, worked at St. Francis De Sales Catholic School which is located just south of Jane Street and Finch Avenue West.
The TCDSB confirmed the employee was last at the school on Nov. 12 and officials were notified the following day.
“We’ve recently learned of a tragic death of a staff member of the Toronto Catholic District School Board. This unfortunate news is a huge loss to our entire TCDSB community,” the board said in a statement Wednesday morning.
“Supports are available to the impacted school community. At this time we are focused on supporting staff and students and respecting the privacy of the grieving family and staff member,” the TCDSB said.
The board said 19 students were potentially exposed to the employee and are self-isolating.
One of the sources added that the woman already had a pre-existing condition and did not go to any other school.
Toronto Public Health wouldn’t confirm if the employee acquired the virus at the school or in the community, citing a right to privacy.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) also issued a statement expressing condolences. The union said “it will be seeking more information about this tragic occurrence, which will be of deep concern to students, families and education workers across the province.”
A child and youth worker is someone who provides direct support to students who have social, emotional or behavioral issues in schools.
The position typically requires employees to be in closer proximity than any other education staff due to student behaviour and working virtually may not be an option, a source said.
— With files from Nick Westoll and Morganne Campbell