Nova Scotia health officials mixed up two Halifax elementary schools in reporting school-connected cases of COVID-19 late Monday night.
Around 10:30 p.m., the province issued a release saying it found two new cases connected to Joseph Howe Elementary.
However, on Tuesday, the province said those cases were actually at St. Joseph’s-Alexander McKay Elementary.
St. Joseph’s-Alexander McKay Elementary school will now be closed to students until Monday, June 21, to allow for testing and cleaning. The release said the school will inform families about at-home learning and they will receive an update before Monday.
“Based on this new information, Joseph Howe Elementary will reopen to students and staff tomorrow, June 16,” the release said.
A parent at St. Joseph’s-Alexander told Global News she was notified to pick up her children after classes had begun when the error was discovered.
Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, acknowledged the mix-up in a news briefing Tuesday.
“Late last night we wanted to make sure we get information out, but we weren’t able to do all the validation steps,” he said. “We apologize for that error.”
2 other schools with cases
The province also reported two new cases of COVID-19 connected to separate schools in the Halifax region.
One of them was at Sir John A. Macdonald High in Upper Tantallon and the other was at Duc d’Anville Elementary in Halifax. The release said the individuals were not in school this week.
The schools will close to students for the rest of the week as cleaning and testing takes place. They are expected to reopen on Monday, with Sir John A. MacDonald students conducting exams online during the closure.
Those cases came in after the cut-off date for reporting, so they will appear on the COVID-19 dashboard on Wednesday.
“Out of an abundance of caution, public health is recommending that all students and staff be tested for COVID-19, whether or not they have symptoms,” the release said, adding that they don’t need to self-isolate unless they have symptoms or have been identified as a close contact.