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COVID-19: Outbreak forces closure of Catholic elementary school in Courtice in Durham Region

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WATCH: Outbreak forces closure of Catholic elementary school in Courtice in Durham Region – Sep 27, 2021

A COVID-19 outbreak has prompted officials to close Monsignor Leo Cleary Catholic Elementary School in Courtice, Ont., as learning will shift to online.

According to the Peterborough Victoria Northumberland Clarington District School Board, the facility-wide outbreak was declared on Friday by the Durham Region Health Department. The outbreak was initially declared on Sept. 16 and as of Friday, there were 11  cases reported.

An outbreak in a school setting is declared when there are two or more lab-confirmed cases believed to be linked to the facility.

Read more: COVID-19: Durham Region reports more outbreaks detected in area schools

The school board did not disclose how many of the 11 cases were students.

In a letter to parents and guardians, principal Linda Bier says based on the number of staff and students who have been dismissed due to COVID-19, the school board decided to close the school to in-person learning, effective immediately.

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

The closure will be in effect for at least two weeks. Beginning Monday morning, all students transitioned to virtual/online learning.

The health unit continues to identify close contacts who will be required to self-isolate for 10 days from their last exposure to COVID-19.

Anyone else who attended the school between Sept. 19 and Sept. 24 are still considered at risk for exposure and should self-monitor for signs and symptoms for 10 days from their last day of attendance at the school, the board said.

All staff and students are also recommended to get tested for COVID-19. To get tested, visit covidswab.lh.ca. or call Durham Health Connection Line at 905-668-2020 or 1-800-841-2729.

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