Work Underway to Bring Begley Students Back After COVID-19 Closure

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Work continues to get students at F.W. Begley Public School in Windsor back in the classroom after a COVID-19 outbreak closed the school.

More than 430 students and staff members were sent home on November 17 and told to quarantine for two weeks after three cases of COVID-19 were identified — further testing revealed a total of 49 cases.

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Wajid Ahmed, says the 14-day quarantine period is up, but a return date has not yet been set.

Ahmed says the health unit is working with the public board on a safe return to school plan.

"We need to work with our school board to see what a safe return to school policy looks like for all these case," he says. "So there is a lot of work that's been happening right now with the school board to make it all happen."

Ahmed says students likely won't be returning all at once.

"We haven't given when they're returning to school, but the plan is to send them back to school in a timely manner," he says. "Obviously, I don't think they'll all be going at the same time. There may be some staggered entry into the school, but that plan is currently being worked on."

Ahmed says the health of students and staff is priority one.

"We don't want to miss anyone who may have developed a symptom or maybe the symptoms are mild and they're still returning to the school. So our return to school policy is taking that fact into consideration and providing appropriate guidance," he adds.

Following the school closure, Windsor Regional Hospital set up dedicated COVID-19 testing for staff and students which saw just under 300 tests performed.

According to the public school board's website, Begley is closed until further notice.

The school is located at 1093 Assumption St. near Pierre Avenue.