Edmonton

COVID-19 outbreak declared at Ross Sheppard High School

A COVID-19 outbreak was declared Sunday at a public high school in northwest Edmonton after second person tested positive for the disease. 

A second person has tested positive for COVID-19, according to AHS

A second COVID-19 case has been confirmed at Ross Sheppard High School. (Sam Martin/CBC)

A COVID-19 outbreak was declared Sunday at public high school in Edmonton after a second person tested positive for the disease. 

Alberta Health Services has advised the school that an additional 53 Grade 10 students and two staff members at Ross Sheppard High School need to be tested and will be required to self-isolate at home for 14 days. 

The first case at Ross Sheppard was confirmed by Alberta Health Services on Sept. 8 and sent nearly 100 students into isolation after just one day of classes. Three classes of Grade 10 students and their teachers — close to 100 people — were placed in quarantine at home for 14 days after someone in the group tested positive.

The school's second case was confirmed over the weekend, school officials advised parents in a letter on Sunday. 

"For privacy reasons we will not be sharing more information about the individual," school principal Rick Stanley said in the letter.

"We are working closely with AHS to ensure necessary measures are in place to protect all students and staff."

In a media statement later Monday, Edmonton Public Schools said the second case is not connected to COVID-19 case announced last week and the individual did not contract COVID-19 at the school.

About 53 Grade 10 students and two staff members need to isolate at home for 14 days, monitor for symptoms and be tested.

Edmonton Public Schools also reported other COVID-19 cases Monday:

  • On Saturday, AHS informed the school division that an individual had tested positive from Westmount School. About 22 Grade 8 students and five staff members need to isolate at home for 14 days, monitor for symptoms and be tested. 
  • On Sunday, AHS confirmed that an individual had tested positive from Parkview School. About 46 Grade 7 students and six staff members now need to isolate at home for 14 days and be tested. 
  • Also Sunday, AHS reported that an individual had tested positive from Centre High. Approximately 33 adult students and one staff member need to isolate at home for 14 days and be tested. 
  • On Monday, AHS told the division that an individual has tested positive from Vimy Ridge Academy About 57 Grade 9 students and four staff members need to isolate at home for 14 days and be tested. 

Ross Sheppard is among dozens of Alberta schools contending with possible COVID-19 exposures in the classroom.

Three Alberta schools — Henry Wise Wood High School in Calgary, St. Wilfrid Elementary in Calgary and Chinook School in Lethbridge — have previously reported outbreaks.  

Lester B. Pearson High School in Calgary has an outbreak with two confirmed cases of COVID-19. In a message posted to the school's website on Sunday, principal Kenneth Chee said the two cases at the school are separate "and no connection has been identified."

Another outbreak was declared Sunday at Auburn Bay School, a K-4 school in Calgary.

More than 20 schools across the province have individual  cases.

According to AHS guidelines, an outbreak is declared when there are two or more cases confirmed in a school within a 14-day period.

The letter states that the two cases at Ross Sheppard are considered unrelated and neither case was transmitted or contracted at the school. 

Affected students have been informed and a deep clean of the school will be completed before students return to school on Monday, the letter reads.  

On Friday, Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said 29 Alberta schools have reported COVID-19 cases, with a total of 32 infected individuals. The Alberta government has committed to updating its outbreak map for schools each weekday. 

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