COVID-19: Outbreak prompts closure of St. Mary Catholic Secondary School in Cobourg

A COVID-19 outbreak has prompted the closure of St. Mary Catholic Secondary School in Cobourg. St. Mary Catholic Secondary School

A COVID-19 outbreak has prompted the closure of St. Mary Catholic Secondary School in Cobourg, Ont.

In a letter from principal Jason Roberts on Sunday, parents were told the school will be closed immediately following consultation between the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit and the Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board.

“This decision will prevent further spread of COVID-19 within the school setting,” said Roberts.

It comes after two cases of COVID-19 were initially reported at the school on Friday, followed by an additional three cases reported on Saturday which prompted the health unit to declare an outbreak. The cases have not been identified as students and/or staff.

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“We have already dismissed the individuals from school who were known to have been in close contact with the individuals who are ill during their infectious period,” Robert said. “Those identified as close contacts will be contacted by HKPR or Public Health Ontario to receive further direction. The individuals who are ill are at home isolating and will return to school when they have recovered.”

All students will transition to virtual learning until further notice. Students will be contacted by classroom teachers on Tuesday morning with instructions to begin the transition to virtual learning, which will continue until the April break (April 12 to 16).

Roberts says contact tracing continues. Anyone else who attended St. Mary Catholic Secondary School between March 29 and April 1, who is not part of a dismissed classroom or bus cohort, is advised to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days from their last day of attendance at the school.

“For example, if you/your child’s last day at school was March 29, 2021, please self-monitor until the end of the day on April 12, 2021,” he explained.

Any families who require additional tech support from the school during this period of virtual learning are asked to contact the school on Tuesday morning to request a device.

As of Saturday, the health unit had 69 active cases of COVID-19 within its jurisdiction including 33 in Northumberland County which includes Cobourg.

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