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Outbreak declared at east Hamilton Catholic elementary school

·2 min read

An outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared at St. Eugene Catholic Elementary School in east Hamilton.

In a letter to families on Tuesday, the school’s principal said the outbreak was declared “after an epidemiological link was identified between today’s case and an earlier case at the school.”

The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board has reported three confirmed cases of the virus — a staff member on Feb. 23, a “third-party employee” on Feb. 22 and a student on Feb. 15 — at the school.

“The outbreak is related to the group currently in quarantine,” the letter reads.

The board says students and staff at St. Eugene should continue to attend school “unless directed otherwise” by public health.

This is the fourth outbreak in a Hamilton school — third in the Catholic board — to be declared in the last week.

An outbreak was declared on Feb. 17 at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Elementary School on the west Mountain, which currently has nine positive cases — five students and four staff. The west Mountain school is closed to in-person learning until March 1 as a result of the outbreak.

COVID-19 testing was offered to all staff and students at St. Teresa of Avila on Feb. 20. The HWCDSB said 60 tests were conducted — 23 PCR tests among those self-isolating and 37 rapid tests for other staff and students. The board said on Monday all 37 rapid tests came back negative, and that it is still waiting on the PCR test results.

Three staff cases have been reported at St. Ann Catholic Elementary School in central Hamilton, which has been in outbreak since Feb. 18.

An outbreak was also declared Feb. 17 at the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board’s A.M. Cunningham Elementary School, located in central Hamilton, after two students tested positive for the virus.

Schools in Hamilton reopened for in-person learning on Feb. 8 with enhanced health and safety measures in place after weeks of remote learning.

Kate McCullough, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator