Sixteen Ottawa elementary schools have COVID-19 outbreaks

OTTAWA — As doses of the children’s COVID-19 vaccine arrive in Canada, cases among kids in Ottawa continue to climb, with more than a dozen schools experiencing outbreaks.

Ottawa Public Health has reported 140 cases of COVID-19 in children under 10 years of age so far this month, more than any other age category. 

OPH is reporting 16 COVID-19 outbreaks in local elementary schools. Four new outbreaks were reported in Ottawa on Sunday.

Ninety-six cases of COVID-19 among students are linked to the 16 outbreaks. There are also six reported cases among school staff. No one linked to an outbreak of COVID-19 in a school has died and there have been zero cases of anyone 0 to 9 or 10 to 19 in Ottawa hospitals with COVID-19 so far this month.

The outbreaks are at the following schools (OPH data):

  • École élémentaire publique Marie-Curie (Started Nov. 5; 7 student cases, 1 staff case)
  • Holy Family Elementary School (Started Nov. 7; 12 student cases, 0 staff cases)
  • Assumption Catholic Elementary School (Started Nov. 8; 4 student cases, 0 staff cases)
  • Our Lady of Fatima Elementary School (Started Nov. 9; 6 student cases, 1 staff case)
  • Ecole élémentaire catholique La Vérendrye (Started Nov. 10; 2 student cases, 0 staff cases)
  • Ecole élémentaire catholique Sainte-Bernadette (Started Nov. 11; 3 student cases, 0 staff cases)
  • Sir Winston Churchill Public School (Started Nov. 13; 8 student cases, 1 staff case)
  • Stittsville Public School (Started Nov. 13; 7 student cases, 1 staff case)
  • Westwind Public School (Started Nov. 15; 2 student cases, 0 staff cases)
  • Académie Providence Soeurs Antonines (Started Nov. 16; 3 student cases, 0 staff cases)
  • Hilson Avenue Public School (Started Nov. 16; 2 student cases, 0 staff cases)
  • Holy Spirit Elementary School (Started Nov. 16; 1 student case, 2 staff cases)
  • École élémentaire publique Francojeunesse (Started Nov. 17; 2 student cases, 0 staff cases)
  • Lorne Cassidy Elementary School (Started Nov. 18; 2 student cases, 0 staff cases)
  • Fern Hill School (Started Nov. 19; 5 student cases, 0 staff cases)
  • St. Rita Elementary School (Started Nov. 20; 3 student cases, 0 staff cases)

An outbreak in a school is defined as at least two student or staff cases of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 within a specified class within a 14-day period where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection at school (including transportation and before/after school care). Since the start of the 2021-22 school year, OPH has reported 72 COVID-19 outbreaks in schools, with 65 of those being elementary schools. 

Holy Family Elementary School, which has seen 12 cases linked to its outbreak, was closed for two days last week. OPH was on scene last Friday to offer testing.

Pop-up vaccination clinics coming to schools

Ottawa medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches told the CTV News at Six on Saturday that the first appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine for children aged five to 11 would open up on Tuesday, with about 2,000 spots available for Friday. More appointments will be available in the coming days.

OPH says it plans to have vaccines available for all 77,000 children aged five to 11 in Ottawa available within the next four weeks.

Ottawa Public Health will host 73 after-hours school pop-up vaccination clinics over a four-week period, in addition to making the vaccine available at seven community clinics and 10 community hubs. Vaccinations for children will also be available at some Ottawa pharmacies and family physicians. 

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