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Saturday , 10 April 2021

Expect an extension of COVID-19 closure at Mallaig School

Ecole Mallaig School is under COVID-19 outbreak status with 12 cases of the virus reported amongst staff and students of the K-12 school.

According to St. Paul Education Superintendent Glen Brodziak roughly 55 per cent of the school’s staff and students are isolating after being identified as close contacts since the first case was reported last Wednesday morning.

Asked if there was any indication of in-school transmission, Brodziak said when the health inspector visited the school on Friday they confirmed: “overall all our protocols have been adhered to.”

He said while there are always some checks and balances and minor modifications being made such as labelling improvements and signs with specific capacity limits for bathrooms, “there’s never been we’re missing anything extremely significant.”

“Having said that, everything is important, and we absolutely welcome when our health inspectors come in to make sure. We’ve always said we’re following exactly to a tee what AHS tells us the safety protocols is. We’re going to trust the science,” said Brodziak.

Because of the outbreak and the number of people required to isolate for 14-days, Ecole Mallaig School is currently in scenario 3, with all students learning from home, beginning on Monday.

According to Brodziak, Alberta Education has to give approval in order to close the school and move to scenario three. He said he received that approval around noon on Saturday and will review the situation tomorrow morning.

“I would say in all likelihood, I will be asking for an extension of one more week,” said Brodziak.

“There’s a 14-day isolation period. Given that we won’t be over that period this week, and then after next week, it takes us to the spring break. It gives us a chance to really get that cool down and give us a bit of time,” said Brodziak.

He said once he makes a decision and asks Alberta Education for the extension to at-home learning, the ministry typically needs a few hours to respond because they have to go through all their channels, “but they’re usually fairly good to respond to us.”

On Monday, a letter from AHS posted by St. Paul Education confirmed two or more cases of the virus at St. Paul Regional High School. A contact tracing investigation is underway.

About Meredith Kerr

Meredith Kerr moved to St. Paul for a career in journalism and morning radio in 2014 expecting to stay for six months to a year. Since then, she has put down roots in the form of a husband, a mortgage, two babies, and a poorly behaved dog. She continues to work as a reporter until such time as she finishes her book and becomes fabulously wealthy from the royalties. Meredith also serves as a member at large on the St. Paul Library Board and volunteers as a Beaver leader for the 1st St. Paul Scout Group.