On April 6, 2021 Brant County Health Unit declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Russell Reid Public School in Brantford and Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit declared a COVID-19 outbreak at McKinnon Park Secondary School in Caledonia.
As outlined in the Ministry of Education’s Operational Guidance, an outbreak is defined as two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in students and/or staff in a school with an epidemiological link, within a 14-day period, where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the school.
News of the second COVID-19 case at Russell Reid came on April 6. The first case was identified on April 5. News of the second COVID-19 case at McKinnon Park came on April 3. The first case was identified on April 2.
Understandably, for privacy reasons, the identity of these COVID-19 cases will not be disclosed. These individuals have been directed by the health unit to self-isolate, along with any family members who reside in the same household.
Upon receiving this news, Grand Erie immediately shared the contact information of the students and staff initially identified by the health units as close contacts to these COVID-19 cases. Within the next 24-48 hours, the Brant County Health Unit and the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit will be in contact with these individuals as they work through their contact tracing. The health units will provide further direction and next steps to these individuals, including confirmation of their isolation period. If additional students or staff are impacted, the Brant County Health Unit and the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit will advise as soon as possible.
A close contact includes any students or staff in the impacted cohort(s), but may also include others. Grand Erie provided the health unit with class lists, transportation records and child care information.
Russell Reid and McKinnon Park remain open for those students and staff not required to self-isolate. Grand Erie custodians continue to complete their disinfecting of schools each night.
Russell Reid and McKinnon Park staff will work with students and families to ensure learning continues for those required to self-isolate. Both school’s outbreaks will be closely monitored and reported on by the Brant County Health Unit and the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit.