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CSSVT records first case; NFSB still virus-free

Parents of students attending Arthur-Pigeon High School in Huntingdon were notified Sept. 16 that a first case of COVID-19 had been confirmed in the school community.

According to Luc Langevin, the director of services for the general secretariat and communications at the Centre de services scolaires de la Vallée-des-Tisserands, the regional public health authority conducted an investigation into the positive diagnosis and determined that the associated risk of infection among the school population was low. All the same, he says, parents were advised to monitor their children for symptoms until Sept. 25.

The news that a case had been confirmed at the local high school raised concerns among residents and those who work in Huntingdon, as students attending Arthur-Pigeon are free to leave the school grounds during lunch hour and are often seen gathered at different locations throughout the town. A number of students and their families opted to be tested for COVID-19 as a precaution.

 

The New Frontiers School Board, which had been listed on the Quebec government’s list of boards reporting at least one case of the virus, is now considered virus-free. Two students at the NFSB’s St. Willibrord Elementary School in Chateauguay had tested positive prior to the start of the school year and did not attend classes.

“We are fortunate that there have been no cases confirmed in our schools,” says NFSB director general Rob Buttars, who suggests a new process has been put in place where only the school boards or service centres report news of any positive cases directly to the government. In fact, school boards are required to update the government on a daily basis, notes Buttars.

“Our schools and staff are working hard and being vigilant,” he says, adding that while there have been some cases of staff staying home who have gone to be tested there has not been a marked increase in absenteeism to date. Buttars says the same can be said of the student population.
As for the start of the school year, he says everything has been going well so far. That being said, as one administrator quipped last week, the situation is similar to ducks on a pond. On the surface everything looks calm, but below, things are constantly in motion.

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