Today, Renfrew County and District Health Unit (RCDHU) in collaboration with the Renfrew County Catholic District School Board (RCCDSB), is confirming that a student at St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Arnprior, has a positive laboratory-confirmed case of novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) that is suspected to be a Variant of Concern (VOC).
Please understand that VOCs may spread more easily and more quickly than other strains of COVID-19. Therefore, all students and staff who have been deemed to be a close contact of the positive case, have been given direction to go home immediately to self-isolate and arrange for testing. The school remains open to in-person learning for all other students and staff.
RCDHU is working closely with the RCCDSB to ensure necessary measures continue to be in place to protect all staff, students and the public. RCDHU staff is actively investigating the case and all high risk contacts will receive a standard text message from the RCDHU virtual assistant and called by Public Health Ontario within 24 hours, notifying them that they have recently been exposed to COVID-19. All high risk contacts will be directed to complete the virtual assistant survey to complete contact tracing. If you are a high risk contact:
- You MUST self-isolate and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days. Do NOT return to work, school or child care, in-person;
- Call the Renfrew County Virtual Triage Assessment Centre (RC VTAC) at 1-844-727-6404 to book an appointment for testing;
- If test result is negative, continue 14-day isolation because of exposure and because COVID-19 could have been developing (incubating) at time of test;
- If test result is positive, continue to self-isolate and you will be contacted by RCDHU;
- If a staff or student exposed to an individual with a confirmed or suspect VOC refuse testing, they must self-isolate for 24 days (14 days incubation period and 10 days infectious period). This is a conservative approach to ensure the safety of all other staff and students upon your return to school.
If you have been directed to self-isolate, you are required to:
- Stay home. Do not go to work, school, child care, or public places. You can go outside, but you must stay on your own property. Do not walk around the neighbourhood.
- Avoid contact with others. No visitors unless deemed essential (e.g. care providers), stay in a separate room away from other people within your household, use a separate bathroom if possible.
- If these steps are not possible, maintain a distance of 2 metres from others at all times.
- Keep your distance. If you are in a room with other people, keep a distance of at least 2 metres and wear a mask or face covering that covers your nose and mouth.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
RCDHU is reminding residents to complete the COVID-19 self-assessment tool or COVID-19 school and child care self-assessment tool daily before going to work, school or daycare, to monitor for symptoms and proper guidance.
For more information, visit RCDHU’s website at https://www.rcdhu.com/novel-coronavirus-covid-19-2/ or call 613-732-3629 or 1-800-267-1097.
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