Probable COVID-19 case identified in Stratford elementary school
KITCHENER -- Huron Perth Public Health has identified a probable COVID-19 case at an elementary school in Stratford.
Public health officials said the case is in "a member of the school community" at St. Joseph's Catholic Elementary School, and they've determined the person was at the school while they may have been infectious. They have not said whether it was a student or a staff member.
“In this case, this is a low-risk situation for the school community and the public at large,” said Dr. Miriam Klassen, Medical Officer of Health for HPPS. “However, out of an abundance of caution, we will be taking the situation seriously to prevent the possible spread of the virus in a school.”
According to HPPH, a probable case is when a physician strongly suspects COVID-19 and there are additional factors, including a patient with travel history, has been in contact with a known case or has symptoms but hasn't gotten a test. However, people waiting for tests are not all considered probable cases.
“Knowing how much interest there is in our schools and in keeping them open, and because this is the first school-related exposure in our area, we’d like to again inform the public about our process for managing confirmed or probable cases in schools,” said Dr. Klassen.
HPPH won't be commenting on probable or confirmed cases in schools going forward, unless there is an outbreak or other public health consideration. Any close contacts will be notified and they've been instruction to self-isolate.
The school remains open.
Public health officials are working with the Huron Perth Catholic District School Board and members of the school community to determine next steps.
People are reminded to wear face coverings, maintain physical distancing and practice good hand hygiene.
“This is a reminder that COVID-19 is still present in our region and that keeping our schools as safe as possible will take a community-wide effort,” Dr. Klassen said. “It’s important that we maintain the public health measures that will reduce the spread in our communities. Fewer cases in our community means fewer cases in our schools.”
Health officials were working with the region's schools to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19.