News Release: Outbreak Declared at St. Joseph's High School in Windsor
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, September 15, 2021 | 4:45 p.m. | Windsor-Essex County
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) is declaring an outbreak of COVID-19 at St. Joseph’s High School in Windsor. A school outbreak is declared if there are two or more cases in a school that are linked and if there is evidence that at least one case could have been infected in the school.
There are currently five (5) confirmed cases with the most recent exposure date of September 9, 2021. As a precaution, the entire school community is being dismissed as of Wednesday, September 15, 2021 and the school will remain closed until further notice. All children, staff, and visitors that were in attendance from Tuesday, September 7, 2021 to Thursday, September 9, 2021, and not previously identified as having a high-risk exposure (i.e., not previously dismissed through a cohort dismissal) have been directed to:
- Get tested. Testing is recommended for all affected children, staff, and visitors.
- Anyone that develops symptoms must isolate and get tested immediately regardless of immunization status, or previously negative test results.
The WECHU is working closely with the school and the Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board Board (WECDSB) administrators to manage the outbreak, further limit the spread of infection, and ensure ongoing measures are maintained to protect students and employees.
“Based on the level of spread in our community, it is necessary to excuse students in order to limit the potential for spread in this setting. We are actively working to investigate cases tied to this school and provide guidance to those directly impacted” said Nicole Dupuis, Chief Executive Officer at the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.
“As always, we are working closely with public health to protect the health and safety of the St. Joseph's Catholic High School community and following their guidance,” said Emelda Byrne, Director of Education at the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board. “The health and safety of students and staff remains our first priority and we will continue to inform the school community and implement all health and safety protocols to ensure a safe re-opening of the school in the near term.”
The WECHU recommends all residents of Windsor and Essex County to do their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by following these public health measures:
- Get vaccinated (for individuals 12 years of age and older)
- Stay home if you are sick
- Maintain a physical distance of 2 metres from others
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Use a non-medical face mask when physical distancing is not possible
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow when you cough
Due to privacy considerations, the WECHU will not be disclosing publicly any further details about the cases or the number of close contacts at the school. Dr. Shanker Nesathurai and CEO Nicole Dupuis will address the media about the outbreak during the YouTube Live broadcast at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow morning.