Thames Valley public board confirms COVID-19 case tied to St. Thomas school

The Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) announced Tuesday afternoon that Southwestern Public Health has confirmed a positive case of COVID-19 at Mitchell Hepburn Public School in St. Thomas.

In a statement, the board says it immediately notified staff as well as parents and guardians of all students at the school.

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SWPH says “the source of infection is known” and “the virus was not contracted at the school.” It also said it will not be releasing whether the case involves a student or an employee, but on Wednesday, the provincial chart of COVID-19 cases in schools and child care centres listed the case as involving a student.

The board says the school will continue to operate as normal, as will buses.

“Thames Valley is following all of the health and safety protocols recommended by public health and the Ministry of Education,” said director of education Mark Fisher.

“Mitchell Hepburn remains a safe place to attend school.”

The board says only students and staff who are at risk will be contacted by public health and asked to self-isolate for 14 days. The TVDSB adds that “if you have not been contacted by the SWPH, your child is not considered to be at risk.”

Schools with confirmed cases will also be listed on the board’s website.

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It’s the second case tied to the TVDSB and the second school in St. Thomas to issue a notice over a potential COVID-19 case.

The Middlesex-London Health Unit confirmed a case at H.B. Beal Secondary School in London, another TVDSB school, on Sept. 21.

In St. Thomas, in addition to the confirmed case at Mitchell Hepburn, SWPH reported a probable case tied to St. Thomas Community Christian School, a private school, on Friday.

More back-to-school health and safety information can be found on the SWPH’s website or through its information line at 1-800-922-0096 ext. 9.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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