covid in schools

Numerous schools across Canada are already reporting COVID-19 cases

For students across Canada, the month of September is often marked with the stress of going back to school and thanks to the spread of COVID-19, that stress is on another level this year.

As schools across the country begin re-opening this month, many are already grappling with coronavirus cases that are forcing people to reconsider how safe it is for students to return to class. 

On Monday, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) said that five French Catholic schools in the nation's capital now have positive COVID-19 cases even though they just resumed classes on Sept. 3. 

As a result, 200 students and staff have been told to isolate, although the city's medical officer of health, Dr. Vera Etches, said on Tuesday that the exposure likely came from a school bus rather than a classroom. 

Of course, Ottawa is not alone. Since Aug. 31, five schools in Calgary have also had positive cases.

While Alberta's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said in a press conference on Friday that COVID-19 cases at schools were not unexpected, the principal of one of the schools, Bowness High School, is speaking up. 

"My staff, teachers, support staff and caretakers have worked so hard to create a safe and welcoming space for our students to learn. While this case was brought into our school from an outside source, I know people will now be afraid," said Jana Macdonald in a fiery Facebook post directed toward the province's premier and education minister. 

Just last week, over 80 students in Quebec City were forced into isolation after three cases of COVID-19 were confirmed at two high schools: Polyvalente de Charlesbourg and Ecole Jean-de-Brebeuf. 

This is in addition to the four teachers north of Montreal who tested positive for coronavirus. These cases occurred at Polyvalente Deux-Montagnes where 20 other staff who came in contact with the teachers were placed in isolation as well as some students.

Many have taken to social media to express their concern over schools reopening despite an increase in cases. 

"Why not put a pause on school opening until they can make the schools safe for everyone. If its not safe for the rest of Ontario to move forward, Why is it fine for schools to open with no social distancing? someone else wrote

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