Linwood Public School closes for two weeks due to community transmission
KITCHENER -- Health officials with the Region of Waterloo have decided to close Linwood Public School as a result of community transmission of COVID-19 in the area.
Officials said the closure was not because of spread within the school.
"There's significant community spread happening, especially in the northen part of Wellesley Township," said Joe Nowak, Township of Wellesley Mayor. "I sit on the regional board of health and the pandemic control group, so I sent these concerns to that group and they took appropriate action."
In a release on the school's website, officials said the closure is the result of "student absenteeism rates trending upwards."
"We know from our attendance tracking that many of the current absences are as a result of families isolating at the recommendation of public health," the release said in part. "Access to the school will remain open to staff during the closure period."
The school will close to students and families on Monday, is expected to last two weeks, and learning will continue online.
"Over the last while we have noticed that there has been a lot of kids missing from school," said Linwood resident Carra Myers, who pulled her three children out of classes two days before the clsoure.
"They needed to start making parents aware when there was a high rate of kids in self-isolation and not just making them aware of positive cases."
This is the first school in the Waterloo Region District School Board to get closed down for COVID-19 reasons.
"I understand it's a super tough time for parents, especially parents who work outside the home," said Myers. "Ultimately it's about the safety of our kids."
The board says it works closely with health officials on all COVID-19 decisions, including closing schools.
One student at the school has tested positive for COVID-19, the school board reported on Wednesday. That student was last at school on Nov. 26. A student cohort, some staff members and some transportation students were told to self-isolate.
On Dec. 6, four students at the school were listed as having tested positive for COVID-19. A notice sent to parents says the students were last in the building from Nov. 23-27 and that high-risk contacts have been contacted by public health.
With reporting from CTV Kitchener's Natalie Van Rooy