COVID-19 Outbreak Declared at Cobblestone Elementary School

Today, the Brant County Health Unit declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Cobblestone Elementary School in Paris. 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 Cobblestone came late last night. The first case was identified yesterday afternoon. Cobblestone has more than 500 students in Kindergarten through Grade 8.

Understandably, for privacy reasons, the identity of the individuals who tested positive will not be disclosed. These individuals have been directed by the health unit to self-isolate for 14 days, along with any family members who reside in the same household.

Upon receiving the information, Grand Erie contacted the students and staff initially identified by the Brant County Health Unit as close contacts. These individuals were asked to remain at home today. During the next 24-48 hours, the Brant County Health Unit will be in direct contact with these students and staff as they work through contact tracing. The health unit will provide further direction and next steps to each of these individuals.

A close contact includes any students or staff in the impacted classes/cohorts, but may also include others. Grand Erie provided the health unit with class lists, transportation records and child care information. If additional students or staff are impacted, the Brant County Health Unit will advise as soon as possible.

“All Cobblestone students and staff are asked to monitor their health,” said Dr. Elizabeth Urbantke, Acting Medical Officer of Health. “As we would advise any member of our community, if symptoms consistent with COVID-19 develop, please isolate immediately and seek assessment for testing.”

Cobblestone remains open for those not required to self-isolate. Grand Erie custodians disinfected the school overnight before students and staff returned for in-class instruction this morning.

“Our priority is always the health and well-being of our students and staff,” said JoAnna Roberto, Director of Education. “As we move forward together, we’ll continue to work in tandem with our public health partners. We’re confident in the preventative measures we’ve taken to deal with COVID-19 as well as the protocols we have in place to quickly identify and respond to cases.”

Cobblestone staff will work with students and families to ensure learning continues for those required to self-isolate.

Cobblestone’s outbreak will be closely monitored and reported on by the Brant County Health Unit. The individuals who tested positive as well as all close contacts must follow the direction of the health unit and be able to pass the COVID-19 School Screening Tool before returning to school.

Grand Erie District School Board represents more than 18,000 students in 58 elementary schools and 7,700 students in 14 secondary schools within the City of Brantford and the Counties of Brant, Haldimand, and Norfolk as well as secondary students from Six Nations of the Grand River and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. With a dedicated staff of more than 2,500, Grand Erie remains committed to its goal of Success for Every Student.

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