COVID-19 outbreak declared at Good Shepherd CES in Courtice
Feb. 22, 2021,
The following letter has been sent to the Good Shepherd Catholic Elementary School community in Courtice informing students, families and staff that a second individual at the school has tested positive for COVID-19 and the Durham Region Health Department has declared an outbreak at the school.
Dear parents, guardians and staff,
This letter is to inform you that there has been a second confirmed case of COVID-19 at Good Shepherd Catholic Elementary School and the Durham Region Health Department (DRHD) has declared an outbreak at the school.
An outbreak in a school is defined as two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in students and/or staff (or other visitors) in a school where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the school (including transportation and before/after school care). For further information about COVID-19 outbreaks in schools please refer to the Facts about COVID-19 Outbreak in Schools attached.
We have dismissed the staff/students/essential visitors who were known to have been in close-contact with the people who were ill during their infectious period. The ill individuals are at home isolating and will return to school when they have recovered.
The school will remain open. Staff and students who are NOT directly advised to stay home are deemed low risk and should continue to attend school and self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 at the current time.
Based on Health Department advice we are implementing the following outbreak strategies:
- Posting outbreak signage at entrances and affected area.
- Informing outside agencies that use the school/daycare.
- Only allowing essential visitors into the school.
- Further minimizing the movement of staff between cohorts.
- Limiting student activities to their required cohorts and discontinuing extra-curricular activities, as much as possible.
- Restricting all staff (including school, transportation, staff from home care agencies or others that provide medical services to those in school) from working in other schools.
- Reinforce use of personal protective equipment including masking of students for source control based on requirements for their age, mask and eye protection for staff members, hand hygiene for all, and maintaining physical distancing of 2 metres, as much as possible.
- Review the daily symptom screening process for all staff/essential visitors and students and enhance if needed.
- Review of environmental cleaning and disinfection, and enhanced cleaning and disinfection for the outbreak area(s).
If your child becomes symptomatic please call Durham Health Connection Line 1-800-841-2729, immediately self-isolate and do not attend school.
Common COVID-19 symptoms include fever (temperature of 37.8 degrees Celsius or greater), new or worsening cough and shortness of breath. Other symptoms of COVID-19 can include sore throat, difficulty swallowing, changes to sense of taste and/or smell, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and runny nose, or nasal congestion (not caused by seasonal allergies). For more information about COVID-19, please visit www.durham.ca/novelcoronavirus
If staff or students develop one or more symptoms, immediately self-isolate, call Durham Health Connection Line (DHCL) at 1-800-841-2729 and seek testing.
As always, before attending school, please continue to complete the daily self assessment available at: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/ and remember to inform us if your child will be absent from school.
We will continue to follow all health precautions at the school, including thorough cleaning and disinfecting of all areas; frequent and proper handwashing by everyone in the building; wearing masks; maintaining physical distancing to the fullest extent possible, and following any other steps directed by the health unit.
We will continue to let families know about any further developments. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school.