COVID-19: Outbreak forces closure of a Catholic elementary school in Courtice in the Durham region | The Canadian News

An outbreak of COVID-19 has prompted officials to close Monsignor Leo Cleary Catholic Elementary School in Courtice, Ontario, as learning will move to the internet.

According to the Peterborough Victoria Northumberland Clarington District School Board, the Durham Region Health Department declared the facility-wide outbreak on Friday. The outbreak was initially declared on September 16 and as of Friday 11 cases had been reported.

An outbreak in a school setting is declared when there are two or more laboratory-confirmed cases believed to be related to the facility.

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COVID-19: Durham Region Reports More Outbreaks Detected in Area Schools

The school board did not disclose how many of the 11 cases were students.

In a letter to parents and guardians, Principal Linda Bier says that based on the number of staff and students who have been laid off due to COVID-19, the school board decided to close the school to in-person learning, effective immediately.

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“This decision will prevent further spread of COVID-19 within the school setting,” Bier said.

The closure will be in effect for at least two weeks. Starting Monday morning, all students transitioned to virtual / online learning.

The health unit continues to identify close contacts who will need to self-isolate for 10 days since their last exposure to COVID-19.

Anyone else who attended school between Sept. 19-24 is still considered at risk for exposure and should self-monitor for signs and symptoms for 10 days from their last day of school attendance, the board said.

All staff and students are also encouraged to get tested for COVID-19. To get tested, visit or call the Durham Health Connection Line at 905-668-2020 or 1-800-841-2729.

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