No outbreak declared at Guelph school with five COVID-19 cases
KITCHENER -- Nearly 100 people are self-isolating after multiple COVID-19 cases were confirmed at a Catholic elementary school in Guelph.
On Tuesday, public health officials confirmed to CTV News that 83 students and 10 staff members from Holy Trinity Catholic Elementary School are self-isolating. However, there hasn't been an outbreak declared at the school.
There were four confirmed cases at the school on Tuesday. On Wednesday evening, the school issued a letter saying there was a fifth lab-confirmed case of the disease. Public healh officials are notifying all high-risk contacts.
Eva Chartrand returned to her Grade 6 class last Monday after missing nine days of school. She was sent home Thursday after one of her classmates tested positive for COVID-19.
"I didn't even get a week of school in and then I found out," Chartrand said. "I cried because I'm not going to see my friends for another two weeks."
"Public health called us the next day and they requested that we go get Eva tested for COVID-19," Eva's mother Kelly Chartrand said.
In less than a week, four students from four different classes have tested positive for the disease. The four cases are attributed to community spread.
"That's what we're seeing at Holy Trinity, we're seeing students who got COVID elsewhere," said Dr. Matthew Tenenbaum, Associate Medical Officer of Health with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.
Other classes are still up and running.
"If you have two cases or three cases or more, but each one of them was exposed somewhere else, then we don't consider that an outbreak because the exposure happened outside the school setting," Dr. Tenenbaum said.
The Catholic teachers' union said eight teachers were sent home, and many others were impacted because several of them are parents of children who need to stay home.
"The ripple effect is much beyond the eight teachers there," said Mark Berardine, local Wellington president of the Ontario Elementary Catholic Teachers Association. "There are more members and I'm sure the whole workforce in the area would be impacted."
The Chartrands said they believe the school staff are doing what they can to keep kids safe.
"Eva comes home and tells me all the social distancing takes place," Kelly said. "She doesn't always love the measures, but it's working."
Eva has to wait a few more days until she can go back to school.
"I tested negative but I still can't go anywhere, which is really said," she said.
Officials said no other students or staff members have tested positive so far.