KITCHENER -- One of Waterloo Region's public schools underwent additional cleaning over the long weekend after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

A Sunday night release from the Waterloo Region District School Board says the person was last at Edna Staebler Public School on Thursday and that their identity will not be revealed.

"Staff were preparing for reopening so they were entering and exiting the school," said Alana Russell, chief communication officer for WRDSB. "Due to privacy legislation, we can't disclose any personal information about the individual."

Health officials say that they have determined from an investigation that there were no high-risk contacts within the school.

They add that exposure risk to others in the school is low due to infection prevention protocols.

Access to the school will resume Tuesday following cleaning measures.

Public elementary school students are set to head back to class in one week.

This is the first confirmed cased for the school board. The confirmed cases of COVID-19 webpage by WRDSB is expected to be updated if or when more cases become known.


The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario says it is unknown whether the person is one of their members.

In a statement, they say  the government plan has forced school boards to rush many things last minute to meet timelines and created uncertainty and anxiety for many.

The first day of classes for grade one and two students at Catholic schools is set for Tuesday.

"Everybody wants this to work," said Patrick Etmanski, president of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association. "Everybody wants to be face-to-face with the kids.

"There are still a number teachers though, who don't know what they're teaching, there are still a number of teachers who don't know which kids are in their class."

Following Tuesday, grade three students will start on Wednesday, followed by grade fours on Thursday, and so on.

High school students enrolled with the Catholic board will start the following week.

"The bottom that everyone is aware of is it's going to happen," said Etmanski. "There will be positive cases in the schools."

He adds that if COVID-19 cases rise in the schools, distance learning will likely take over.

With reporting from Carmen Wong