Nova Scotia is reporting two additional cases of COVID-19 today, the first cases associated with schools.
One person at Graham Creighton Junior High in Cherry Brook and one person at Auburn Drive High in Cole Harbour tested positive for COVID-19. Neither attended school today and both are self-isolating at home.
Public health will be in touch with close contacts as part of their ongoing investigation and advise of next steps. Everyone in a class which a confirmed case attended is being tested and asked to self-isolate for 14 days. Students will be supported to learn at home.
Only members of the school community who are directed to stay home are required to do so.
“Our schools mirror our communities, so this news is not unexpected,” said Zach Churchill, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. “We are taking our direction from public health. They are the experts. Any student or staff who needs to learn or teach from home will be provided necessary supports.”
When a member of the school community tests positive for COVID-19, public health works with the school to let families know about the positive case and what happens next. Those decisions – including whether to keep a school open, close a classroom or close the entire school – are made by public health and the Regional Centre for Education/Conseil scolaire acadien provincial based on the level of risk to other members of the school community and the operational capacity to support in-class learning.
“While not a surprise, these cases are a stark reminder that we need to be diligent about following public health measures,” said Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health. “Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Keep your distance from others not in your household or close social circle. This is the only way we’re going to get ahead of the curve.”