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Outbreak at Ormstown Elementary, cases on the rise across region

The total number of cases of COVID-19 in the Montérégie was on the decline this past week, while the Haut-Saint-Laurent saw a spike in cases largely tied to an outbreak at Ormstown Elementary School.
“We have been keeping in close communication with the school principal at Ormstown Elementary School and Santé Publique,” says New Frontiers School Board (NFSB) director general Rob Buttars.

At this time there is no plan to close the entire school, as to date all seven cases (2 staff members and 5 students) are contained to a single class. The initial case was identified on April 27, and the kindergarten class was immediately closed. The entire class was sent home and the children are now into the second week of a strict 14-day quarantine at home. Contact tracing within the school resulted in the additional closure of 2 daycare groups, and Principal Joanne Henrico has been vigilant about monitoring contacts on school buses as well. At this time, no other classes have been impacted at Ormstown Elementary.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for other NFSB schools. “Given that some of our families are also our employees, and with older siblings, we are seeing a bit of a domino effect across our school communities, including impacts at Chateauguay Valley Regional High School, the Huntingdon Adult Education and Community Centre, and the Nova Centre in Chateauguay,” confirms Buttars.

“Everyone is working together to keep the lines of communication open,” Buttars says. “And we, as always, are focused on the health and safety of our students, staff, and greater communities.”

Cases in the last two weeks have also been reported at several schools within the Centre de Services Scolaire de la Vallée-des-Tisserands, including Arthur-Pigeon High School in Huntingdon, the École Jeunes Riverains in Saint-Anicet, and École Notre-Dame-de-Rosaire in Ormstown.

There are currently 36 cases of COVID-19 in the Haut-Saint-Laurent, with all but three municipalities reporting at least one infection. The area is now reporting the highest rate of infection in the entire Montérégie, at around 147 per 100,000 individuals. There are 37 cases in the Suroît local health network (LHN), 145 in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges LHN, and 229 in the Jardins-Rousillon LHN.

The good news is that appointments opened today (May 5) for people aged 40 to 44 to receive their first dose of vaccine, and by the end of next week the general population over the age of 18 will be eligible to reserve a slot for a first jab.

Vaccination appointments at the Ormstown Vaccination Centre, located in the Recreation Centre, can be booked online through the website. As of press time, there were numerous spaces available through the month of May.

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