School COVID-19 protocols working so far

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, Windsor, January 16, 2020. Photo by Mark Brown, Blackburn News.

The Windsor Essex County Health Unit is confident it has good systems in place after the first case of COVID-19 in a school community was identified Tuesday afternoon.

A student at Stella Maris Catholic Elementary School in Amherstburg tested positive for the virus. The student’s cohort was sent home to self-isolate for 14 days.

“All of the communication, the plans that are in place, the protective measures that are in place all have worked out well. The schools are prepared, the principal in particular in this case, it’s our first case, but he was well prepared,” said WECHU CEO and Chief Nursing Officer Theresa Marentette.

The health unit confirmed the student did not take the bus so there was no exposure to those students. Medical Officer of Health Dr. Wajid Ahmed said the cohort of the student’s sibling would not be required to self-isolate but the sibling is required to stay home.

“Just being siblings doesn’t necessarily make them a case and as a result, anyone who is part of the class of that sibling is not a risk,” said Dr. Ahmed.

On Wednesday morning, the health unit reported nine new cases of COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex. Among the cases are four close contacts, two community-acquired cases, one travel-related case, and one farmworker. One case remains under investigation. There are 92 active cases in the community.