Approximately 60 students and 15 staff are now in isolation following two cases of COVID-19 connected to the Ashmont School over the weekend.
According to St. Paul Education Superintendent Glen Brodziak, the division isn’t able to provide a lot of information about which grades or teachers were impacted because of privacy concerns.
“I can confirm there were two cohorts impacted,” said Brodziak.
He said the division put the call out for substitute teachers, but noted substitutes have proven to be an ongoing challenge this year.
“Some of our educational assistants will be stepping in and providing the supervision if those subs weren’t available,” said Brodziak.
He said many of the teachers are still providing work and teaching their classes from home.
“Some had requested their cameras so that they could go live at home and do it synchronously. Some teachers were asking school staff to drop off materials on their doorsteps,” said Brodziak.
Brodziak said Alberta Health Services notified the division of the cases on Oct. 18 and the administration of Ashmont School worked all day to identify the close contacts of the cases.
It was closed for additional cleaning on Monday.
“It was the school administration who largely made all the calls to the parents and to the staff,” said Brodziak.
“We got an extra staff member out there. So we had two hydrostatic cleaners that just go all through. We pay attention to those areas most impacted, but we said we’re going to give the entire school a once over,” said Brodziak.
The school re-opened to staff and students on Oct. 20.
No additional cases of COVID-19 have been connected to the Ashmont School at this time, and Alberta Health Services does not believe the transmission of the original two cases took place within the school.
Five cases are active in the Cold Lake, which could be the five confirmed cases reported by Cold Lake First Nations. Lakeland Connect has reached out to Alberta Health Services on clarity of geographic locations on the virus map and local First Nations communities.
There are six active cases in the St. Paul area, four active cases in the Bonnyville area, which may be the cases confirmed in Kehewin, three actives cases in the Lac La Biche area, and three in the Smoky Lake area.
Two active cases are reported active on the Alberta side of Lloydminster according to the map, and one is active in Vermilion River County.