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Outbreak declared at Holy Cross Catholic Elementary School, Brantford

(March 18, 2021) Brantford, Ont. – This afternoon, the Brant County Health Unit declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Holy Cross Catholic Elementary School 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 additional two cases of COVID-19 connected to Holy Cross came this afternoon. 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.

If the Health Unit identifies that at least one case associated with this outbreak has screened positive for a variant of concern (VOC) we will post that information, when it is shared with us, on the COVID-19 Reporting by Location webpage ( Please note that it may take several days for Public Health to identify a VOC after a positive has been detected. 

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 stay home and self-isolate. Over the next 24 to 48 hours, the Brant County Health Unit will be in direct contact, via email, with these individuals as they work through their contact tracing. The health unit will provide further direction and next steps to 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 Holy Cross 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.”

Holy Cross School 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 in the morning.

“As this pandemic continues, we remind families that our focus is on the health and safety of our students and staff,” said, Mike McDonald, Director of Education. “We continue to follow the direction of public health as well as our safety protocols that are in place."

Holy Cross School staff will work with students and families to ensure learning continues for those required to self-isolate.

The Holy Cross School 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. 

Link to Family Communication


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)