Update (Monday, Mar. 29, 2021)
Bath Public School, Ernestown Secondary School, and Odessa Public School will reopen on Tuesday, Mar. 30, 2021 after being closed due to possible COVID-19 contacts.
Since the closure of the three schools was announced on Saturday, Mar. 27, 2021, further investigation and testing by KFL&A Public Health has determined that “the general school populations” at the three schools are “not at risk because of a COVID-19 exposure identified on March 27, 2021,” the Limestone District School Board (LDSB) said in a press release on Monday, Mar. 29, 2021.
All three schools will reopen for in-person learning on Tuesday.
Some students and members of their households must continue to isolate, however. The LDSB noted that:
- Bath Public School students in the Grade 7/8 class, riders of Bus 154, and their household members must continue to isolate and follow the direction of KFL&A Public Health
- Ernestown Secondary School students in the Grade 10 auto class, riders of Bus 158, and their household members must continue to isolate and follow the direction of KFL&A Public Health
- Odessa Public School students who ride Bus 158 and their household members must continue to isolate and follow the direction of KFL&A Public Health
Any students who do not belong to one of the groups mentioned above and who are not siblings of someone in one of those groups no longer need to self-isolate, and may return to school on Tuesday, Mar. 30, 2021.
All students and staff at Bath PS, Ernestown SS and Odessa PS were originally asked to self-isolate on March 27, 2021 as a result positive cases of COVID-19 identified in the schools. Because over 40 per cent of recent cases in the KFL&A region have involved variants of concern, Public Health is taking additional precautions to help reduce the spread of these cases and variants.
“Thank you for your understanding and adherence to all public health directives to help ensure student and staff safety,” the LDSB said.
Three positive cases of COVID-19 in students at the Limestone District School Board (LDSB) have resulted in the temporary closures of Bath Public School, Ernestown Secondary School and Odessa Public School.
“Two students at Bath PS and one student at Ernestown SS tested positive for COVID-19 on March 27, 2021,” confirmed LDSB in a release. “The two class cohorts related to these students and two additional bus cohorts have been asked to self-isolate and seek out testing at an assessment centre as soon as possible, even if they do not currently have symptoms.”
In addition, five student cohorts at Odessa Public School connected to the bus cohort at Ernestown Secondary School have been asked to self-isolate at this time, said LDSB. Those cohorts do not need to be tested at this time.
The closures come after LDSB initially decided to require the isolation of two class cohorts and bus cohorts at the schools on Friday, Mar. 26, 2021, when potential secondary contact with the close contacts of a positive COVID-19 case was identified.
“Because COVID-19 Variants of Concern (VOC) are now in our community and can spread more easily, Public Health is taking additional precautions to help reduce spread by ordering ALL students and staff at Bath PS, Ernestown SS and Odessa PS to self-isolate until further assessment,” said the release. “Given the scope of the isolation required, all three schools will close temporarily, and in-person classes will switch to remote learning when possible, until further notice. Public Health will provide affected families with an update as soon as possible.”
The school board says that if any students or staff who are not part of the affected cohorts begin to experience symptoms of COVID-19, they should also be tested as soon as possible. “It is not necessary to have students or staff tested at this time if they do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and are NOT part of the affected class or bus cohorts. Testing now may lead to unnecessary or repeat testing.”
According to the school board, all members of the school community have been notified and have been provided with direction from Public Health. “KFL&A Public Health is working with the school to identify cohorts of students and staff who may be at risk of COVID-19 from this exposure. Not all students will be affected by this situation,” said the school board.
Citing privacy, the board does not identify individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19.
“Thank you for your understanding and adherence to all public health directives to help ensure student and staff safety,” said LDSB.