COVID-19 outbreak at Simcoe County school declared with 10 cases

A Bradford West Gwillimbury school remains open despite a COVID-19 outbreak that closed several classes and infected multiple individuals.

St. Marie of the Incarnation Catholic School has 10 confirmed cases and five closed classes due to the outbreak.

Track COVID-19 cases in local schools and child care centres

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) declared the outbreak on Friday but hasn't closed the school, saying it is monitoring the situation.

The SMDHU says no specific number or threshold determines when to close a school, adding many factors are involved, and it works on a case-by-case assessment.

"At this time, although some outbreaks may have several cases, the transmission noted is low, and control measures are currently working," states a spokesperson with the health unit.

RAPID TESTING KITS IN SCHOOLS

Meanwhile, the province says rapid COVID-19 testing kits are headed to some schools in hot spots starting next week to try and control transmission.

Ontario's top doctor changed his stance on the asymptomatic tests after recent data from the U.S. and UK revealed they could be "a tool that can be used in particular to keep schools open."

The tests will only be used for unvaccinated, asymptomatic children who are not high-risk contacts of a case.

Dr. Kieran Moore says implementing the antigen tests in schools will be at the discretion of medical health officers. Parents will decide if their children will participate in the screening.

It is yet to be announced if the Simcoe Muskoka health unit will participate in the rapid testing program.