COVID-19 outbreak declared at St. Paul Catholic Elementary; 2 cases at St. Peter Secondary in Peterborough

Peterborough Public Health has its rollout plan ready to go - all that's needed now is the vaccine.

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at St. Paul Catholic Elementary School in Peterborough, the region’s Catholic school board has reported.

In a letter issued to families on Saturday, school principal, Natalie Bittner, said an additional three cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at the school. That has prompted Peterborough Public Health to declare an outbreak.

An additional case was reported late Sunday afternoon, putting the outbreak at five active cases as of 5:25 p.m.

School outbreaks are declared when two or more lab-confirmed cases are found where at least one of them could have been acquired in the school — including transportation and before/after school care, Bittner said.

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The Peterborough Victoria Northumberland Clarington Catholic District School Board reported the first case at the school on Wednesday, Nov. 17. As per school board policy, cases are not identified as students or staff.

“Those identified as close contacts have been dismissed from school to isolate at home and will be contacted by PPH with further direction,” Bittner said. “Staff and students who were not dismissed from school should self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.”

Bittner says the school remains open. Thorough cleaning and disinfecting, frequent handwashing, mask wearing and physical distancing continue.

Also on Sunday, the school board reported a second case at St. Peter Catholic Secondary School in Peterborough after the first case was reported on Saturday.

Principal Shannon Brady in a letter to families said both individuals are at home.
“We are working closely with Peterborough Public Health to identify anyone at the school who may have been exposed to the individual while they were infectious,” said Brady. “On behalf of Peterborough Public Health, we will be notifying all identified contacts with a separate notice to advise them of next steps.”

The school board’s COVID-19 advisory page as of late Sunday afternoon reported one other active case within the health unit’s jurisdiction: A case St. Anne Catholic Elementary School which was first reported last week.

There are seven other cases outside the health unit’s jurisdiction, including an ongoing outbreak at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Elementary School in Newcastle. The outbreak was declared on Nov. 12.

As of Friday afternoon, the health unit reported 18 active cases in the region. The health unit does not issue case updates on weekends.

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