The first school in Ontario to close due to an outbreak of the novel coronavirus is set to reopen on Monday after health officials in Renfrew County said they were “confident” in-class instruction can resume safely.
The Renfrew County District Health Unit (RCDHU) said in a statement Friday that the coronavirus outbreak at Fellowes High School in Pembroke, Ont., will be officially declared over on Saturday.
The school was closed after an outbreak was declared on Sept. 16.
In total, nine people tested positive for the virus in connection with the outbreak: four staff members, one student and four family members connected with the school.
The health unit tested nearly 100 people, including 83 students, who were deemed at-risk of exposure to trace the extent of the outbreak.
“It has been two weeks since an individual with COVID-19 was in the school, and I am now confident that school can safely resume on Monday,” said Dr. Robert Cushman, acting medical officer of health at RCDHU.
Cushman added that the outbreak was “successfully contained” thanks to contact tracing efforts and compliance from staff, students and families on directives from the public health unit.
He said the nine cases linked to the outbreak is a “graphic example” of the challenges tied to the return to school during a pandemic.
“We must all work together to do everything we can to combat the virus if we are going to keep our schools open, our economy moving and our community safe,” he said.
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