COVID-19 Outbreak Declared at Simcoe Composite School

Today, April 15, the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Simcoe Composite School in Simcoe.

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 Simcoe Composite School came on April 15. The first case was identified on April 13.

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 unit as close contacts to these COVID-19 cases. As no new cohorts were affected, no further close contacts have been asked to self-isolate and the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit has been in contact with individuals identified previously as they work through their contact tracing. The health unit is providing further direction and next steps to these individuals, including confirmation of their isolation period. If additional students or staff are impacted, 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.

At the direction of the province, all Grand Erie schools and schools across the province are pivoting to virtual learning starting on April 19 after the Spring Break until further notice. Grand Erie custodians will continue to complete their disinfection of schools.

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