Calgary Catholic School District student tests positive for COVID-19, classmates asked to quarantine
CALGARY -- A Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD) student attending summer classes at St. Francis School has tested positive for COVID-19, officials confirmed Tuesday.
As a result, the student, teacher and classmates have been instructed to quarantine for 14 days.
Officials would not confirm the student's age or gender.
"Safety is a top priority," CCSD said in an email to CTV Calgary. "We are working closely with AHS as they are investigating to determine where the student contracted the illness and who the student has been in contact with since.
"We will be conducting a deep clean of the school and will continue with our enhanced cleaning protocols moving forward."
Officials added the school will remain open for the remainder of summer school.
In-person summer classes resumed at two CCSD high schools earlier this month — with 200 students attending St. Francis School and 150 attending Bishop O'Byrne Senior High School. Classes are being capped at 15 students and desks are spaced at least two metres apart.
As well, students and staff have to complete a daily health survey before they are allowed in the building, no common breaks are permitted, students need to bring their own water bottles and teachers are required to complete an online communicable disease course.
In-person classes are set to resume for Calgary Board of Education students in September, however there will not be a cap on class sizes, which critics have said could lead to an outbreak.
Provincial officials earlier said the decision to return to in-person classes this fall was based partly on the success of the CCSD summer school program. Asked whether the positive test would change the province's plans for fall classes, Premier Jason Kenney said positive cases are inevitable.
"I've been clear ... that there will be positive cases. With three-quarters of a million students and tens of thousands of teachers and staff it's inevitable there will be some cases," he said.
"When we look to jurisdictions like, for example, Taiwan and South Korea, very densely populated countries who have continued to operate their schools without limitations over the past five months, we've seen no significant outbreaks and that's generally been the case across jurisdictions that either maintained their schools or reopened them."
Kenney added that young people seem to not be as hard hit by the virus as adults.
"In terms of the impact of COVID-19 on younger people is the younger you go the less impactful it is," he said.
"In fact my understanding is that since the pandemic started in Canada five months ago, we've seen only one fatality of anybody under the age of 20 and I don't believe any fatalities under the age of 72 in Alberta since April.
"So the chances of children becoming negatively affected by the virus are not non-existent, but they are very small statistically, which is I believe one of the reasons why our public health officials have given us the green light to proceed with the opening of the schools."