Ontario Independent

Saturday, January 29, 2022

The first case of Omicron variant at a school is being investigated in Toronto

The first school case of the new Omicron strain is being investigated in Toronto

Key takeaways:

  • Toronto Public Health is investigating the first school outbreak of the new Omicron strain in Scarborough.
  • After 13 COVID-19 instances were discovered, Precious Blood Catholic School was closed to in-person study in early November. 

In Scarborough, Toronto Public Health is investigating the first school incidence of the novel Omicron strain.

Few specifics have been given, but investigators say the case was discovered near Lawrence and Pharmacy avenues at Precious Blood Catholic School.

It’s unclear whether the case involves a student or a staff member.

Officials said the individual’s close contacts have been identified and instructed to self-isolate, check for symptoms, and get a COVID-19 PCR test.

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In a tweet, Toronto Public Health said, “Given the discovery of this new variety and the current spread of the Delta variant, it’s more crucial than ever to obtain immunization if you haven’t already.” “We appreciate residents and school communities helping to keep each other safe.”

After 13 COVID-19 instances were discovered, Precious Blood Catholic School was closed to in-person study in early November. 11 of the infections were among children, and two were among staff, as per the TCDSB at the time.

Take-home PCR testing was used to identify just under half of the cases.

As of Dec. 3, the TCDSB website displays one active case in a student. The school is still operational.

The Toronto Catholic District School Board stated to CP24 that they were told of the inquiry into a probable Omicron case Monday night.

First school case of Omicron variant under investigation at east Toronto  school.
First school case of Omicron variant under investigation at east Toronto school. Image from The Star

“Students, teachers, and anyone else who may have been exposed has been told to stay at home and self-isolate.” “The school is still operating,” stated TCDSB spokeswoman Shazia Vlahos. 

“Students and employees who are not directed to self-isolate by TPH can continue to attend school depending on the findings of daily screening.” During this continuing inquiry, we continue to collaborate with TPH.”

The announcement comes only hours after public health officials announced that an epidemic had been declared at six more schools after two or more COVID-19 cases were found and linked to those locations.

Branksome Hall, Holy Angels Catholic School, Maurice Cody Junior Public School, Dewson Street Junior Public School, Michael Power Saint Joseph High, and Prince of Peace Catholic School are among the six schools that make up the group.

Officials wrote on social media that they are “carefully examining and following our protocol of working with our school community to alert close contacts & ask them to remain home, watch for symptoms, and get tested.”

Officials in Ontario have identified at least 13 cases of the Omicron strain as of Monday. One instance was reported in Toronto, while three others were reported in Durham, two in Peel, and one in York.

Source: CTV News

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