Stittsville elementary school ordered closed due to COVID-19 outbreak ‘likely’ linked to Omicron variant

Ottawa Public Health has ordered the closure of a French Catholic elementary school in Stittsville due to a COVID-19 outbreak that is suspected to be traced to the COVID-19 Omicron variant of concern.

École élémentaire catholique Saint-Jean-Paul II will be closed starting on Monday after the spread of COVID-19 was found in more than one class/area of the school.

“Testing indicates that it is likely to be the Omicron variant of concern,” said Ottawa Public Health in a letter to parents on Saturday.

“As a result, the entire school (staff and students) have been deemed to be a high-risk contact and must isolate immediately, regardless of vaccination status.”

Ottawa Public Health declared an outbreak at École élémentaire catholique Saint-Jean-Paul II on Dec. 9. As of Saturday, there are eight confirmed student cases at the school.

It is not known how long the school will remain closed.

“Ottawa Public Health recommends that all students and staff get tested immediately,” said OPH in the letter to parents at the school. “However, if you or your child were already tested this week, you do not need to repeat testing unless you, your child or someone in your household develops symptoms.”

Take-home test kits will be available for pick-up at École élémentaire catholique Saint-Jean-Paul II on Tuesday.

There are currently COVID-19 outbreaks at 25 elementary schools and one secondary school in Ottawa.

Ottawa Public Health warned Saturday that there is evidence of community transmission of the Omicron variant in Ottawa.

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa Saturday afternoon, Ottawa Public Health said there is evidence of transmission involving the Omicron variant in a “variety of settings.”

“The message to residents is that regardless of where Omicron is, the same public health measures that we have been practising will help reduce transmission: limiting close contact, wearing a mask and physical distancing, staying home when sick, daily screening and getting tested if symptomatic,” said OPH.

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