COVID-19 school outbreak numbers continue to climb

The number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb at Niagara schools.

The provincial government database, which is updated daily but lags behind local reporting, confirmed four of the individuals were students, and 11 were staff.

The first confirmed case at the Welland school was on March 1 and new cases were reported until last Tuesday. The case count is sitting at 15 active cases that have resulted in the closure of 12 of 21 classrooms.

Previously, Niagara’s acting medical officer of health, Dr. Mustafa Hirji, confirmed that one staff at Quaker Road could have been responsible for spreading the virus in two schools.

“There is one staff person linked to two different schools now who, unfortunately, is infected with COVID-19,” said Hirji. “That person may have been infected at one school and then may have been the source of infection at a second school.”

The other school was not identified.

Since Sunday, the District School Board of Niagara has announced an additional 13 confirmed COVID-19 cases that resulted in the closure of 12 classrooms. In some cases, the board has not indicated whether the case is student or staff-related.

Niagara Falls’ James Morden Public School has two staff-related cases, Forestview Public School has one staff-related case, A N Myer Secondary School has one student-related COVID-19 case, and Martha Cullimore Public School has one student-related case.

St Catharines’ Lincoln Centennial Public School and Lockview Public School Student have one each. Lockview’s case has been identified as a student-related case, and the identity of Lincoln Centennial’s positive case has yet to be confirmed.

Central French Immersion Public School, a Grimsby-based school, has one confirmed case that has resulted in four classroom closures.

Glynn A Green in Fonthill has one student-related case.

Gordon Public School has two active cases that resulted in two classroom closures.

This week’s last confirmed case announced by the public board is from Port Colborne’s Steele Street Public School. One classroom was closed.

The Niagara Catholic District School Board lists eight active cases on its database. The bulk of those cases are from Niagara Falls.

Saint Paul Catholic High School has two active cases; those infected identity has not been confirmed, Sacred Heart Catholic Elementary School has one active case. Loretto Catholic Elementary School has one student-related case, and St. Ann Centre has one staff-related case.

The remaining cases come from Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary School in Grimsby with a student-related case, St. Martin Catholic Elementary School in West Lincoln with a staff-related case, and St. Therese Catholic Elementary School in Port Colborne.

Sean Vanderklis is a Niagara-based reporter for the Niagara Falls Review. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him via email: [email protected]