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COVID-19: Waterloo Catholic School closes until after March Break

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A Waterloo Catholic School has been forced to close its doors until after March Break due to the number of staff who are current considered high-risk for potential COVID-19 transmission and are in self-isolation.

Students and staff at Holy Rosary Catholic School have been forced back into online learning ahead of the March Break, which begins Friday.

Read more: Toronto schools ordered to close temporarily due to rising COVID-19 cases

A Waterloo District Catholic School Board official told Global News there are not enough teachers to safely operate the school.

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“Unfortunately, across the school system (and as with most boards across Ontario) we are experiencing an increased number of “failure to fills” (uncovered absences) which is a result of both staff connected to positive or probable cases, as well as staff who have to isolate because someone in their family has one symptom, along with just our regular sick-leave absences,” Johyn Shewchuk explained in a an email.

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“According to the provincial database, as of today there are 83 schools similarly closed across the province.”

The school also has three separate active COVID-19 outbreaks involving six children currently underway.

Read more: Ontario reports more than 3,000 COVID-19 cases, 8 deaths

An outbreak is declared when two people (teachers or students) from one cohort test positive for COVID-19.

“At Holy Rosary, they have three separate cohorts that meet that bar,” Shewchuck said.

“But, again, the school is closed due to lack of available staff, not as a result of the number of cases.”

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