A mom's COVID-19 scare: How a parent is coping with school outbreaks
LONDON, ONT. -- As asymptomatic testing begins in London-area public schools this week, many parents fear a resurgence of the virus.
COVID-19 outbreaks have been declared at three London-area schools while Saunders and Sir Frederick Banting secondary schools have a positive test for a ‘variant of concern.’
Claudia Baldizon tells CTV News her children are impacted by school outbreaks.
“It’s hard to hear, that not one, but two of my kids were close contacts, the same week. And obviously, with cases rising, especially in this area, it’s scary.”
Baldizon lives in south London. One of her impacted children attends Sir Arthur Carty Catholic Elementary School. There, four cases of the virus are reported.
Both of her kids are self-isolating at home and are currently not showing symptoms.
Her youngest daughter, who was not in close contact with any reported COVID-19 cases, continues to attend school.
Baldizon says the new routine at home is a challenge, as her older two stay away from their little sister and the rest of the family.
“They were used to after school when they’d get to play. But now we’re at home with masks, and we’re walking around the house with masks, trying to make sure it doesn’t get any worse than it's getting.”
It is a tough balance hundreds of area families have faced since in-person school resumed. Even in the face of the new variants, the Middlesex-London Health-Unit (MLHU) continues to provide them with familiar advice.
“Our advice to close contacts of this particular case, and their families remains the same; get tested, monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19 and limit the time you spend out in the community,” stated Dr. Alex Summers, the associate medical officer of health this weekend.
His statement comes as asymptomatic testing is underway in the London District Catholic School Board, while the Thames Valley Board begins testing this week at three area high schools.
A clinic will be held at East Elgin Secondary School in Aylmer on Wednesday and at Westminster Secondary School on Thursday. Both will operate from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m.
Glencoe District High School will be hosting a clinic on March 17.
Parents will be notified by email if their child is eligible to attend. Selected students, in feeder elementary schools, will also be invited to those clinics.
Meanwhile, Baldizon says the efforts of school and health-unit officials to inform impacted families have been competent.
“It’s hard, we’ve never gone through this before, but they’re doing their best.”
Baldizon is trying to do the same, “I try not to get my kids all nervous and scared about the whole situation.”