Marius-Barbeau elementary school closed due to COVID-19 outbreak

Families and staff at École élémentaire catholique Marius-Barbeau are being warned that the school could be closed for 10 days or more because of an escalating COVID-19 outbreak. (Jim O'Grady/CTV News Ottawa)

A Herongate elementary school is closed on Friday because of an escalating COVID-19 outbreak.

Ottawa Public Health says École élémentaire catholique Marius-Barbeau is closed after evidence of the virus spreading to several different cohorts in the school.

"The whole school has been closed, out of an abundance of caution, as our investigation suggests that there is evidence of spread of COVID-19 to several cohorts in the school," said the health unit in a letter to parents/guardians, students and staff on Thursday.

"OPH will continue to work with the school to monitor the situation to ensure all appropriate outbreak measures are in place."

The school closure is the second one this week, after St. Benedict Elementary was shut down by OPH on Tuesday.

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa on Friday, the Conseil des ecoles catholiques du Centre-Est says the school is closed until Oct. 4, inclusively. 

"Ottawa Public Health is currently assessing the situation to determine the exact opening date which could last up to a maximum of 10 days," said the CECCE.

In a letter to the school community, OPH says the duration of closure isn't known, but if cohorts can return earlier than 10 days, staff and families will be notified. OPH will contact parents/guardians directly if a child has been identified as a high-risk contact.

An outbreak at the school was first listed on OPH's dashboard on Sept. 14. According to the OPH dashboard, there are eight student cases and two staff cases at the school on Notting Hill Avenue. 

The CECCE is reporting 22 active cases among students and staff at eight schools.

Ottawa Public Health declared an outbreak at St. Benedict Elementary School in Barrhaven, and ordered the school closed earlier this week. Cases were first identified in Kindergarten cohorts. One parent told CTV News Ottawa a positive test result was reported in her child's Grade 4 class.

As of Thursday, OPH reported 15 student cases at St. Benedict Elementary School.

Out of an abundance of caution, Ottawa Public Health has closed École élémentaire catholique Marius-Barbeau in River Ward today, for at least 10 days, due to a COVID outbreak.
OPH will continue to work with the school to monitor and to ensure all appropriate measures are in place

— Riley Brockington (he/him) (@RiverWardRiley) October 1, 2021

With files from CTV News Ottawa's Josh Pringle