COVID-19 outbreak declared at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary, not impacting whole school
SUDBURY -- Sudbury health officials have declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School after a third positive infection was confirmed Tuesday night, including one variant of concern.
Lo-Ellen Park is the fifth Sudbury area school to have an outbreak declared since last Thursday. It joins students and staff at Cyril Varney, Lasalle Secondary, Jean Hanson and Algonquin Public School as concerns about the highly-contagious variants continue to circulate in the community.
Late Tuesday night, Public Health Sudbury & District confirmed another person connected to Lo-Ellen has a COVID-19 infection but said it has not dismissed the entire school.
The school was closed on March 1 and all students and staff were moved to remote learning as a safety precaution and the building will remain closed up to and including March 5.
Cyril Varney and Lasalle Secondary are closed until March 4 and Jean Hanson and Algonquin Road Public Schools are closed until March 12.
This also affects satellite sites SHILO, the Child and Adolescent mental Health Program at Health Sciences North and the Intensive Support Program at Lockerby Composite.
"In accordance with provincial guidance, an outbreak in a school setting is declared when two or more laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 are linked and occur within 14 days of each other, and at least one case could have acquired their infection in the school," the health unit said. "The individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 are currently self-isolating and being monitored by Public Health Sudbury & Districts while the investigation continues."
Four other Rainbow District School Board (RDSB) schools also have at least one confirmed case of COVID-19, but no outbreaks have been declared. The schools include Chelmsford Valley District Composite, Lockerby Composite, Walden Public and Espanola High School.
Among the nine RDSB schools with positive infections, there are 14 confirmed cases involving students and five staff members.
This comes after a recent surge in the number of active COVID-19 cases in the Sudbury area.
As of Tuesday at 4 p.m., there are 98 active COVID-19 infections, most of which are in the City of Greater Sudbury. This comes after nearly 70 new cases were confirmed since last Friday.
The RDSB is not the only Sudbury area school board with COVID-19 cases, the Conseil scolaire de district catholique du Nouvel-Ontario has cases at two of its schools: Ecole Alliance St-Joseph and Ecole separee Saint-Augustin. Each of which has at least one positive COVID case. St. Charles College, part of the Sudbury Catholic District School Board, has two more cases after a recent outbreak was declared over.
On Tuesday, the RDSB said it will begin offering voluntary asymptomatic COVID-19 rapid testing for in-person learners, their households and school staff.
Since Christmas Eve, 423 COVID-19 infections have been confirmed in the Sudbury and Manitoulin Districts, 329 cases have been resolved, including 11 COVID-related deaths.