Sudbury health unit closes St. David School over fears of widespread COVID infections
SUDBURY -- Public Health Sudbury & Districts is closing St. David School, effective immediately and directing all students and staff to self-isolate.
"All students, staff, and essential visitors who attend St. David School are advised to self-isolate and to contact a COVID-19 assessment centre to make arrangements to get tested," the health unit said in a news release Friday.
"The entire school dismissal is in addition to specific classrooms dismissed earlier this week. Previously dismissed individuals must continue to follow the guidance provided by Public Health."
The health unit has determined there is potential widespread COVID-19 infection among the school community, where the outbreak has risen to 13 cases since being declared Jan. 19. Broader testing of the school community combined with isolation of all school attendees is intended to limit further spread.
“We are working closely with the St. David School community to ensure all necessary public health measures are put into place to identify potential cases and limit spread,” Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, medical officer of health, said in the release.
“These are difficult times, and we understand the strain that families are experiencing. These measures and your ability to follow public health guidance are critical to helping us stop the spread of COVID-19.”
COVID-19 testing appointments can be arranged by calling the Health Sciences North Assessment Centre at 1-705-671-7373 during regular business hours or request an appointment online. Classes that were previously dismissed do not need to seek testing again.
Parents or guardians with children who can't self-isolate on their own must also follow self-isolation guidance for themselves. This means, for example, not leaving the home for groceries or to work.
Parents and guardians, as well as other household contacts, do not require testing. If a child can isolate on their own, then other family members are not required to self-isolate. Public Health will contact individuals who attended the school directly to provide direction.
Other family members
What does it mean for other family members if my child has to stay home in isolation because their classroom was dismissed, or the school has an outbreak?
In these circumstances, your child may have been exposed to COVID-19 and is expected to remain at home and follow self-isolation directions, usually for 14 days.
Other family members must respect and support the child’s self-isolation, but they themselves are not under isolation and can continue with their usual activities, such as going to work or school, the health unit said.
"However, if the child is young and cannot isolate apart from household contacts, a parent or caregiver will also need to isolate with the child away from other members of the household," the release said. "Call Public Health for specific direction if a child in self-isolation develops symptoms that could be COVID-19 related."
Parents and guardians of students can visit the Sudbury Catholic District School Board’s website for information.
Updates about COVID-19 testing, confirmed cases, and outbreaks in Greater Sudbury, the District of Sudbury, and the District of Manitoulin are posted online.
For more information or if you have questions, visit phsd.ca/COVID-19 or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705-522-9200 (toll-free 1-866-522-9200).