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COVID-19 Outbreak Declared at St. John’s College School

(December 8, 2020) Brantford, Ont. – Today, the Brant County Health Unit declared a COVID-19 outbreak at St. John’s College in Brantford. As outlined in the Ministry of Education’s Operational Guidance, an outbreak is defined as two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in students and/or staff in a school with an epidemiological link, within a 14-day period, where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the school.

News of the second COVID-19 case at St. John’s College came today. The first case was identified on December 3, 2020. Understandably, for privacy reasons, the identity of the individuals who tested positive will not be disclosed. These individuals have been directed by the health unit to self-isolate for 14 days, along with any family members who reside in the same household.

Upon receiving the information, the school contacted the students and staff initially identified by the Brant County Health Unit as close contacts. These individuals were asked to go home and self-isolate. During the next 24-48 hours, the Brant County Health Unit will be in direct contact with these students and staff as they work through contact tracing. The health unit will provide further direction and next steps to each of these individuals.

A close contact includes any students or staff in the impacted classes/cohorts but may also include others. The Board provided the health unit with class lists and transportation information. If additional students or staff are impacted, the Brant County Health Unit will advise as soon as possible.

“All St. John’s College School students and staff are asked to monitor their health,” said Dr. Elizabeth Urbantke, Acting Medical Officer of Health. “As we would advise any member of our community, if symptoms consistent with COVID-19 develop, please isolate immediately and seek assessment for testing.”

St. John’s College remains open for those not required to self-isolate. Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board custodians have disinfected the impacted rooms and will continue their heightened cleaning protocol overnight before students and staff returned for in-class instruction this morning.

“The health and safety of our students and staff is always our priority,” said, Mike McDonald, Director of Education. “As we continue to navigate this pandemic, we remain in constant contact with our Provincial and local public health partners. Protocols that we have put in place will ensure that families are made aware of important information, including confirmed COVID-19 cases in our school communities, as soon as possible in order to help reduce the spread of the virus."

St. John’s College staff will work with students and families to ensure learning continues for those required to self-isolate.

The St. John’s College outbreak will be closely monitored and reported on by the Brant County Health Unit. The individuals who tested positive as well as all close contacts must follow the direction of the health unit and be able to pass the COVID-19 School Screening Tool before returning to school.

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For more information about this media release or the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board contact:
Tracey Austin | Manager of Communications and Community Relations
(P) 519-756-6505 Ext. 234    (C) 519-732-5282    (E) taustin@bhncdsb.ca