Four Kingston-area schools are reporting COVID-19 cases among their school populations.
According to Limestone District School Board, two students at J.R. Henderson Public School and one student at Kingston Secondary School have tested positive for COVID-19.
The health unit has reportedly determined that these cases pose no risks to the school populations as a whole, therefore no cohorts will be required to isolate and the schools will remain open.
The Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board says St. Marguerite Bourgeoys has recorded two cases and St. Thomas More Catholic School has one case. Both schools remain open.
The health unit reported 10 new cases Wednesday, six of which were children under the age of 10.
In a press briefing Wednesday, Dr. Hugh Guan, associate medical officer of health for the region, says he is not concerned about the recent uptick in cases at schools.
“We have shown how folks are transmitting the virus, so I would become more and more concerned if we start seeing random cases pop up all the time,” he said.
He said that most of the children who tested positive were close contacts of previously existing cases, and therefore got the disease from their home or close relations rather than in schools.
Currently, there are no outbreaks at any Kingston-area schools, and there has been no transmission within any school settings.
Guan also said that he has confidence in the local school system’s ability to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
“We have never seen widespread transmission in our schools compared to instances you may have heard of in other jurisdictions,” he said.
Finally, Guan said with experience dealing with COVID-19 in schools, current vaccination rates — nearly 80 per cent of the local population is fully vaccinated — schools are better set up to deal with the virus this time around.
“I would very much hope that schools are not closed this year because, again, we know that being in schools is very much beneficial to the children’s mental, physical as well as social wellbeing. We want to keep kids in school for as long as possible,” Guan said.
There are currently 46 active cases of the virus in the region.
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