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3 elementary schools in Ottawa report partial outbreaks of COVID-19 as cases rise

3 elementary schools in Ottawa report partial outbreaks of COVID-19 as cases rise

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Three elementary schools in Ottawa have partial outbreaks of COVID-19 as cases continue to rise, according to city school boards.

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The French-language Catholic school board reported “partial outbreaks” at De la Découverte and Marius-Barbeau elementary schools — located in Orléans and Ledbury, respectively — from Wednesday morning. Each school reported two cases of COVID-19, although the board did not indicate whether they were among students or staff.

There are 23 active cases of COVID-19 on the school board, causing 34 classes to be laid off, according to the daily update from the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Center-Est.

At the French-speaking elementary school board, parents at Michaëlle-Jean Elementary School in Barrhaven on Wednesday morning received a letter stating that Ottawa Public Health had declared an outbreak among children driving a school bus.

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As of Tuesday night, Michaëlle-Jean had six students with laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19, causing the closure of four classes.

An outbreak is declared when at least two people attached have been infected with the virus and there is a reasonable chance that it was transmitted at school.

The Michaëlle-Jean outbreak was contained to people on a school bus, according to the letter sent to the parents.

The number of students and staff with confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Ottawa schools continues to rise. Most cases are on the two French-speaking boards, where teaching was resumed earlier.

As of Tuesday night, 54 active cases of the disease had been identified at 36 schools on the four Ottawa-based boards. That is up from a total of 43 active cases a day earlier.

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However, most schools have only one case, and most schools have none. There are 328 schools on the four Ottawa boards.

Public health officials had warned of expecting an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases this fall as schools reopen and more people go indoors.

The province is already struggling with a fourth wave of COVID-19 driven by the highly contagious Delta variant.

Ottawa schools have reopened with some of the same pandemic measures that were in place last year, such as mask requirements, hand washing and co-ordination of elementary school students eating lunch and taking breaks with their class.

In addition, students over the age of 12 are eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19, which is key to protecting schools from the virus.

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But at the same time, the provincial back-to-school pandemic protocols have been relaxed to allow for a more normal school year, so there is more mixing among students, a return to full-time school for high school students and the opportunity for leisure activities to be returned.

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kieran Moore has said he is convinced that the protective layers that are in place will allow schools to remain open this year after ping-pong education students experienced last year with several shifts to online learning at home.

The province resumed its daily update on COVID-19 cases in schools on Tuesday, reporting a total of 324 cases among students and staff reported in the past two weeks.

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Across the province, 218 of 4,844 publicly funded elementary and high schools had at least one case of COVID-19 on Tuesday. It represents 4.5 percent of the schools.

Most schools in the province reopened last week.

Here is the current number of COVID-19 cases in Ottawa school boards per. September 14:

Ottawa-Carleton District School Board

Schools opened: September 9th

Current cases: 8

Schools with an active cause: 8

Total number of schools: 143

Ottawa Catholic School Board

Schools opened: September 7

Current cases: 9

Schools with an active cause: 10

Total number of schools: 89

Center-East Catholic School Board

Schools opened: August 31st

Current cases: 24

Number of schools with an active case: 14

Total number of schools: 58

Eastern Ontario Public School Board

Current cases: 14

Schools with an active cause: 8

Total number of schools: 38

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twitter.com/JacquieAMiller

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