Four new cases of COVID-19 identified at North Kildonan school

Four more cases of COVID-19 have been identified at John Pritchard School in North Kildonan.

Officials at John Pritchard School notified parents Tuesday evening about the potential exposure

A letter sent to parents of students at John Pritchard School says four more cases of COVID-19 have been identified at the school. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

Four more cases of COVID-19 have been identified at John Pritchard School on Henderson Highway in North Kildonan.

A letter sent to parents Tuesday evening said the school was notified by public health officials of the new confirmed cases, bringing the total to five.

Starting Wednesday, students in grades 6, 7, 8, and those in a split grade 4/5 class will start remote learning. The letter said it may last up to two weeks. 

It also noted the school is not allowed to release additional information about the confirmed cases.

Parents were notified Sunday about the first confirmed case of COVID-19, who had been at the school all day Tuesday through Thursday while asymptomatic.

Catherine Harder, who has three kids at the school, said she found out about the cases at 9 p.m. when one of her kids' teachers called her. She said her children are devastated that they won't be able to go to school. 

"It's just a lot of sadness for my kids and see that school ripped away from them so soon after they just started," she said. 

Now, she says she and her husband are scrambling to figure out what they're going to do, as one of them will have to stay home and help their kids with remote learning. 

"A lot of us are scrambling right now," she said. 

"When you get called at 9, 9:30 at night from your kid's teacher that your kid isn't allowed to come to school tomorrow, there's a lot of panic and a lot of unsureness, a lot of questions as to why this is all happening so soon."

There have been six schools with COVID-19 exposures since schools reopened last week. The first came just one day after students went back to school, when a potential exposure was announced at Churchill High School. 

With files from Erin Brohman