Kids react to going to schools with COVID-19 outbreaks
Calgary teen worried there will be rumours about who had COVID-19
Adeeb Ighani was at a family gathering a couple of weeks ago when he heard the news: a student in his Grade 10 class had tested positive for COVID-19.
Although it wasn’t welcome news, Adeeb, 14, said he wasn’t surprised.
“I honestly really expected it,” he told CBC Kids News from his home in Calgary.
Adeeb goes to Bowness High School, where there has been one positive case of the virus.
Adeeb and the others who shared a class with that student have been told to self-isolate until they are able to get a COVID-19 test.
In total, he spent four days in his room. He only came down for dinner but sat on opposite sides of the table from his family.
Otherwise, he used a separate bathroom, wiped down practically everything he touched and ate the rest of his meals alone in his room.
Adeeb said it felt like he was in his own prison cell but said that it was worth it to keep everyone around him safe.
Adeeb Ighani, left, with his brother Bayaan. Adeeb said he normally loves being outside but had to isolate for several days in his room after finding out there had been a positive COVID-19 case in his class. (Image submitted by Rozita Ighani)
His test has since come back negative, but he has to stay home for a total of 14 days before he’s allowed to go back to school.
Despite that feeling of relief, Adeeb said he’s worried that kids at his school might be talking about who tested positive.
“I definitely think there will be some sort of gossip and rumours,” he said.
“It must be really awkward and uncomfortable for them.”
Adeeb said he’s also disappointed that he’s once again been out of school.
“It’s kind of annoying that I got to go back for a week and then I’m stuck at home again,” he said.
Positive cases at Manitoba school as well
Adeeb isn’t the only one.
As schools reopen across the country, positive cases continue to rise among students, including those in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta and Quebec.
Brooklyn Harder, 11, and her two sisters had only been back at their Winnipeg school in person for a week before a COVID-19 outbreak forced them to switch to online learning.
A total of seven students have tested positive at John Pritchard School.
The cases at John Pritchard School mark the first outbreak at a Manitoba school. (Image credit: Trevor Brine/CBC)
Although the cases were all linked to one cohort, about 250 kids were sent home.
Students in grades 6, 7 and 8, as well as those in a split Grade 4/5 class and the before- and after-school programs, were sent home.
“I'm not surprised that we’re home; it’s just hard,” Brooklyn told CBC Kids News.
Until she gets the all clear, she’ll be learning virtually, which is expected to take up to two weeks.
From left to right: Sisters Morgan, Linnea and Brooklyn Harder. The sisters went back to school in person last week but had to start learning virtually on Wednesday following a COVID-19 outbreak at their school in Winnipeg. (Image submitted by Catherine Harder)
Not only will she miss the friends she was only recently able to see again, but Brooklyn said learning from her teacher in person is much easier than online.
But, like Adeeb, Brooklyn said she’s not nervous about having the virus in her school.
“I'm not that worried about it. It’s expected,” she said.
Brooklyn, middle, pictured with her parents and siblings. The family has had to adjust to online learning following an outbreak at their school. (Image submitted by Catherine Harder)
While at home, Brooklyn’s mom said it’s her job to remind her kids to follow the “fundamental” COVID-19 safety protocols, which include:
- Washing your hands often, especially if you touch something that isn’t yours.
- Using hand sanitizer.
- Staying at least two metres away from anyone who isn’t in your cohort.
- Wearing a mask when you can.