November 11, 2020

Dear Parents / Guardians:

A case of COVID-19 has been identified at St. Benedict CSS. Public Health has identified one classroom as high-risk contacts.

All high-risk students and staff are required to self-isolate at home. Public Health will contact all high-risk contacts by end of the business day tomorrow, and will provide individual guidance.

At this point in time, all other students and staff can continue to attend school and are advised to self-monitor for symptoms and seek testing if symptoms develop.

Please know that St. Benedict staff – as well as staff at our school board head office – are working with Region of Waterloo Public Health to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in students, staff and the community.

A Note About School Cleaning Processes

Upon confirmation from Public Health that one or more individuals at a school site have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, Facility Services will be notified as soon as reasonably possible.  Members from the Facilities team will make arrangements to disinfect school spaces as deemed necessary.  This is typically done after school ends for the day and before school begins the next day.  However, in some cases, depending on the timing of notification and size of the school, disinfection may occur at the beginning of the school day.

Disinfection involves the use of standard cleaning products available in your school, plus one or more high speed disinfection units.  A disinfection unit is used to ‘mist’ surfaces with a chemical called Clorox Total 360.  The product needs to sit on a surface and air dry for it to be fully effective.  It has been reviewed by our staff and has been deemed safe when used as directed.

Custodial and maintenance staff who apply the mist will be wearing full PPE including masks, goggles, and gloves.  Classroom spaces are safe to occupy after the chemical has been applied.

A video of product application can be found here: https://youtu.be/BIlhdx3XQI0?t=75

 

What does this mean for students at the school?

  • Public Health will work with the school to identify high risk student and staff contacts of the confirmed case.
  • Parents/guardians of students who have been identified as high risk contacts of a confirmed case will be contacted directly by Region of Waterloo Public Health and provided specific directions related to the need for the student to self-isolate and get tested
  • Parents/guardians of students who have been identified as low risk contacts of a confirmed case will not be contacted directly by Public Health and are not required to self-isolate. The school will provide general information for these students and families.
    • Students and families who have been identified as low risk contacts of the case should self-monitor for symptoms
    • Students who develop symptoms should self-isolate at home and get tested at an Assessment Centre
  • In the event a cohort must self-isolate or the school must close, you will be notified by the school. The school will keep you informed about any plans regarding return to school.
    • The term cohort includes students and staff in the same class, students involved in group activities or who have been in shared spaces during school, students that ride the same bus, attend before/after school care, or participate in extracurricular programming together.
  • Continue to monitor and screen your child for symptoms of COVID-19 daily.

What is COVID-19?

  • COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans
  • COVID-19 symptoms include, but are not limited to fever, cough, trouble breathing, sore throat or nasal congestion. A list of symptoms, including atypical signs and symptoms, can be also be found in the ‘COVID-19 Reference Document for Symptoms’ on the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 website
  • People may be able to pass COVID-19 to others from 48 hours before symptoms begin to 14 days after the start of symptoms

Additional COVID-19 resources can be found on Region of Waterloo Public Health’s COVID-19 webpage at http://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/COVID19.

As a community, we must continue to take care of ourselves and each other. We can do this by following the advice of public health agencies and government officials. Please review their advice on how you can protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Sincerely,

The Administration Team