LONDON, ONT. -- Businesses in the Dundas corridor between Catholic Central High School and H.B. Beal Secondary School have enjoyed having students back at school.

“They are very nice, to talk with. And so driendly. And our business has flourished, tangibly with their existence, and their visits to our store. And I really thank them for that,” says Alaa Taiel, manager at the Markus Mini Mart on Dundas.

The traffic coming in from students is still down 40 to 50 per cent according to Loc Tran who owns a pizza place steps from the school.

“We like it, we like the pace, and the amount of students right now coming into the business. Because we want to keep everyone safe that is coming into the business as well.”

The recent positive test from nearby Beal has Taiel hoping the students take the threat seriously

“I hope they will consider this as an alarm, for them to take precautions in order to avoid such happenings from occurring in the future.”

But in the almost two weeks since students returned to class, Tran says there haven’t been any issues yet with the kids following the health protocols.

“Surprisingly, I rarely have to ask them to put on a mask. Only a couple of times since, two weeks already. And they say ‘oh, sorry, and they put on a mask right away, so it’s great.”

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie visited Beal Tuesday and was impressed with how the students, while large in numbers, were still maintaining distance.

“You might see a large number of students, but not necessarily a lot of close contact between them. So I’ve been very impressed with what the students have been able to do there.”

Mackie then added “It is not high school students or any students in the school age children that are driving the rates of illness here.”

Mackie stated during a media briefing Tuesday there is no evidence the person from Beal who tested positive was infected at Beal.

Meanwhile, Thames Valley District School Board Director of Education Mark Fisher said staff and students that came in contact with the infected person have or will be contacted by the health unit, and students shouldn’t be afraid to come to school.