COVID-19 rapid testing clinics identify nine students with COVID-19 at Ottawa schools

OTTAWA, — COVID-19 rapid testing clinics targeting Ottawa’s schools identified nine students with COVID-19 over the past three weekends.

New data from Ottawa Public Health shows less than one per cent of the 994 students tested positive during clinics targeting 47 Ottawa schools. 

This weekend, Ottawa Public Health and its local health partners will hold another clinic to offer rapid testing for COVID-19 to thousands of students, teachers and their families in Ottawa.

During the weekends of Jan. 29-30, Feb. 6 and 7 and Feb. 13, 14 and 15, Ottawa Public Health, CHEO and local health partners have run school-based COVID-19 rapid testing clinics. Students, staff and their families from a total of 47 Ottawa schools were invited to the testing clinics over the three weekends.

“The purpose of the clinics is to improve access to testing and identify any students, staff or family members with COVID-19 infections,” said a report from Ottawa Public Health. “People who are symptomatic, asymptomatic, or high-risk contacts with connections to the invited schools are eligible for this targeted testing. The goal is to prevent COVID-19 spread at home, in our schools and in our community, and ultimately keep our classes and schools open for in-person learning.”

If an individual tests positive on the COVID-19 rapid test, the individual and their household contacts are called to return for a lab-based test the same weekend to confirm the rapid test result.

Over the past three weekends, 2,336 individuals were tested for COVID-19, including 994 students.  They included asymptomatic and symptomatic students, along with students with high-risk exposures.  

Ottawa Public Health says nine students tested positive over the course of the three weekends. Eleven other people tested positive for COVID-19.

A COVID-19 testing clinic will be set up on Saturday and Sunday at St. Patrick’s High School. Students, staff and families at several schools in the area of St. Patrick’s High School are invited to present for testing.

A letter to parents on the St. Patrick’s High School website invites families to receive a COVID-19 rapid test.

The Ottawa Carleton District School Board has told families the clinic is also available for students, staff and families at the following schools:

  • Brookfield High School
  • Canterbury High School
  • Charles H. Hulse Public School
  • Clifford Bowey Public School
  • General Vanier Public School
  • Hawthorne Public School
  • Hillcrest High School
  • Ridgemont High School
  • Riverview Alternative School
  • Robert Bateman Public School
  • Vincent Massey Public School

The test for individuals without any symptoms will be a rapid antigen test. Results will be available on the same day. If someone tests positive for COVID-19, you and your household contacts will be called to return for a laboratory-based test to confirm the rapid test result.

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