Region's acting MOH hopes to contain school COVID-19 cases

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The acting medical officer of health for Windsor-Essex is concerned with the number of COVID-19 cases within area schools.

Dr. Shanker Nesathurai says the number of dismissals is likely related to the number of cases in the community.

According to the health unit, there have been approximately 65 dismissals since the beginning of the school year.

"We are concerned and we remain concerned," Dr. Nesathurai said. "I think every person, it's not only the public health district that's concerned about schools but I think it's school teachers, school principals, school board officials and most importantly parents in the broader community."    

He says he remains hopeful the health unit will be able to work on containing the virus.

"If COVID makes it's way into an institution like a school or a workplace then it's contained to as few people as possible, and if it does make it's way into a workplace or other institution like a school, that it doesn't spread throughout the entire institution."

He says if a young person is sick, do not send them to school. 

"The number of dismissals is likely in some way to be related to the background risk in the community meaning that if there are more people in the community have COVID, it's more likely that COVID will make it's way into the schools and if it makes into way into the schools, it's probably greater likelihood of young people being excluded from schools," Dr. Nesathurai said.

The health unit is reporting five COVID-19 outbreaks at area schools.

St. Joseph’s Catholic High School in east Windsor was shutdown last week due to an outbreak.

The school at 2425 Clover Ave. was ordered to close at the end of the day last Wednesday by the health unit and will remain closed until further notice.

Students have shifted to online learning.