Alberta’s chief medical officer of health has announced 418 new cases of COVID-19 and three school outbreaks Monday, including one in Edmonton.
Ross Sheppard High School is home to the first outbreak of COVID-19 at a school in Edmonton. An outbreak is defined by Alberta Health as having two cases in a school while being infectious within 14 days. Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the bar has been set low to declare an outbreak in order to contain the virus.
“This is a very cautious use of the term,” said Hinshaw. “As soon as even a small number of cases are identified, all necessary precautions are put in place within a school.”
Wendy King’s 16-year-old daughter transferred to Ross Sheppard at the start of the year for Grade 11. She said she was notified by the school on Sunday about the outbreak but wasn’t worried about having her daughter attend in-class learning on Monday.
King said she feels the school has a handle on the situation.
“(These are) almost like little fires that are popping up and the staff have to run after these little fires and put them out,” she said. “I’m not sure how long (staff) can sustain working seven days a week doing that.”
Edmonton Public Schools spokeswoman Megan Normandeau said in an email a case at Ross Sheppard identified over the weekend is not connected to a case announced last week. She said there about 53 students and two staff members at the school who need to self-isolate.
Normandeau also said there is a case at Westmount Junior High School where 22 Grade 8 students and five staff members need to isolate. An individual from Parkview School has tested positive and 46 Grade 7 students and six staff members need to isolate.
Centre High and Vimy Ridge both have had an individual connected to their schools test positive. There are 33 adult students and one staff member from Centre High who need to isolate and 57 Grade 9 students at Vimy Ridge and four staff members who need to isolate.