Elementary school in Dorchester, Ont. latest with COVID-19 case
LONDON, ONT. -- An individual has tested positive at an elementary school in Dorchester, the latest case of COVID-19 in area schools.
Parents, guardians and staff of Northdale Central Public School have been notified, according to the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU).
As with all other cases those who are deemed to have been in close contact are being contacted directly by the health unit, anyone who is not contacted should consider themselves not at risk.
The Thames Valley District School Board says the school will remain open and buses will continue to operate.
“I think we have to be very mindful, and be alarmed, by the rising incidence rate of COVID-19. We have seen the highest case count on Sunday since the beginning of the pandemic," says Dr. Alex Summers with the MLHU.
"And when we look week by week, we see a rise of incidence rates, which means more cases in our community. That is what we will be mindful of and that’s what we need to be cautious about," he adds.
On Sunday the health unit declared an outbreak at Sir Arthur Currie Public School in London after a second case was confirmed.
Officials believe the two cases at the same school are associated with each other, which led to the outbreak declaration.
Meanwhile the MLHU has also confirmed a case at Mary Wright Public School in Strathroy, Ont.
All confirmed active cases will be tracked on the board's website.
The health unit has the following recommendations to minimize the spread of the virus:
- Stay home from work or school if you become ill.
- Ensure close contact is limited to those in your household. If you live alone, consider having close contact with one other household.
- Maintain 2 metres physical distance from anyone who is not in your household.
- Wear a mask no matter where you are, or what you are doing (leaving the house, going to the store, interacting with colleagues at work or in the breakroom).
- Avoid non-essential travel to the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, Quebec City and Montreal.
- Only visit an Assessment Centre to get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19, have been contacted by the Health Unit or received notification through the COVID Alert app of close contact with a confirmed case.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 15-20 seconds or use a waterless hand sanitizer with at least 70 percent alcohol content.
- Cover coughs and/or sneezes with your sleeve or cough into your elbow.
- Clean high-touch areas, such as doorknobs in public spaces, frequently.
- Download the COVID Alert mobile app to be notified if you may have been exposed to COVID19, and to let others know if you test positive for the virus.
There are now eight confirmed cases in local schools including six in the Thames Valley District School Board.
Parents react to COVID-19 cases
Northdale Central Public School parent Chris Campbell acknowledges his son was a bit concerned about the single case of COVID-19.
“I think most kids are, so he definitely had a bit of anxiety going."
Campbell says he reassured his son and spoke about the health measures being taken.
Still, he agrees more cases will pop-up at all schools as the fall progresses.
He and other parents CTV News spoke with say occasional in-school COVID-19 cases will become the new educational normal.
“Just like any parent you make the best decision with whatever information is available, but it is a tough choice."
Meanwhile Northdale Central parent Kate Ledgely has faith in health and school officials.
She believes her children would be sent home, if the single case was a greater concern.
“If they feel like it’s safe for the kids to go, and they're doing everything they can, we sort of follow that guidance."