2 cohorts at Holy Names Catholic school sent home after COVID-19 case
Also on Thursday, 24 students dismissed from Corpus Christi Middle School
Two student cohorts have been sent home from Holy Names Catholic High School in Windsor after a COVID-19 case was diagnosed.
Officials with the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board said they learned of the case Thursday morning and students were sent home.
The school board said the local health unit would provide instructions to any students and staff who may have been affected. Parents were told that students can continue attending school as usual if they haven't been identified by the health unit as close contacts.
"We have advised parents to continue to monitor their children for symptoms of COVID-19 each morning and to keep them at home and call their healthcare provider for further direction if they are ill," Stephen Fields, communications co-ordinator for the board, said in a statement.
"We want to assure parents that we are co-operating with the health unit and doing everything we can to make sure that we continue to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for their children."
As of Thursday, two other schools in the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board — St. William Catholic Elementary School and Corpus Christi Catholic School — have a single coronavirus case each. Thursday morning, 24 students were dismissed from Corpus Christi, on advice from the health unit.
A third school, W.J. Langlois Catholic Elementary, is closed due to an outbreak involving five cases.
Meanwhile, the Greater Essex County District School Board currently has 10 schools with COVID-19 infections. One school, F. W. Begley, has been closed for more than a week.
Overall, 40 students and nine staff have been diagnosed within the school — the biggest outbreak in the province.
School testing program introduced elsewhere in Ontario
Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced Thursday that voluntary testing for asymptomatic students would be taking place in some schools, but only in the coronavirus hotspots of Toronto, Ottawa, Peel and York regions.
"Right now, the next four weeks are targeting the highest-risk regions," he said at a press conference.
"We're following the advice of public health. If they determine, they provide a recommendation it should be expanded or we should augment the list, of course we will continue to follow that direction and implement it swiftly."
Lecce told reporters that 99.85 per cent of students in the Windsor-Essex region remain COVID-free, and he and his staff are in contact with school board and public health officials to keep transmission down.