Niagara’s two largest school boards are reporting 44 active cases of COVID-19 tied to 28 schools across seven municipalities.
Niagara Catholic District School Board’s COVID-19 database Tuesday listed 26 of those cases.
The provincial government’s school-related COVID-19 database identified 25 of the 26 cases as students. The other is staff-related.
On Monday, Niagara Region Public Health advised Niagara Catholic of four confirmed cases at St. Andrew Catholic Elementary School in Welland.
Provincial guidelines indicate “an outbreak in a school is defined as two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in school with an epidemiological link, within a 14-day period, where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection.”
However, in a press release, Niagara Catholic said public health has determined “the cases do not meet the threshold for an outbreak, due to their origin.”
“All affected students and staff are now in self-isolation, on the direction of Niagara Region Public Health,” said the release. “Niagara Catholic advises all students and staff to continue to follow the direction of public health to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our schools.”
Niagara Catholic does not report how many classrooms were closed as a result of positive cases.
District School Board of Niagara’s COVID-19 database on Tuesday listed 18 active cases at 15 schools, resulting in the closure of 28 classrooms.
At Edith Cavell Public School in St. Catharines, its only case is linked to six classroom closures.
The provincial database identified 13 of DSBN’s active cases as student-related, three as staff-related and two as unconfirmed.
DSBN’s most recent case was at Welland Centennial Secondary School on Monday. One individual tested positive.
A public health inspector and a public health nurse was to visit to complete a comprehensive assessment, DSBN said in a press release.
“Welland Centennial will continue to follow the preventative COVID-19 practices that schools have in place, such as wearing required PPE (personal protective equipment), physical distancing, maintaining hand hygiene and doing the daily health screening.”
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]