Ottawa’s French Catholic school board latest to say it will notify parents of COVID-19 cases

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Parents and guardians are urged to screen their children for symptoms of COVID-19 each morning before school and to keep them home if there is a risk of them becoming infected. They are also asked to inform the school of any positive PCR or rapid antigen test results.

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The region’s French-language Catholic school board is the latest to say it will notify parents of COVID-19 cases in its classrooms, even though the province has suspended mandatory reporting.

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In a letter to parents on Friday, Marc Bertrand, director of the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est, said the board would notify parents in the affected community of positive cases of COVID-19 in schools or on school buses. Bertrand said the move was “to ensure open and transparent communication.”

The directive comes into effect on Monday. Confidentiality of students and staff will be respected, he said.

Meanwhile, parents and guardians are urged to screen their children for COVID-19 symptoms each morning before school and to keep them home if there is a risk of them becoming infected. They are also asked to inform the school of any positive PCR or rapid antigen test results.

The new directive for the French <a class=Catholic school board comes into effect on Monday, said the director of the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est, the French Catholic school board for the Ottawa region.” class=”embedded-image__image lazyload” src=”https://smartcdn.gprod.postmedia.digital/ottawacitizen/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/unknown-jpeg_83560690-w.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288″ srcset=”https://smartcdn.gprod.postmedia.digital/ottawacitizen/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/unknown-jpeg_83560690-w.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288, https://smartcdn.gprod.postmedia.digital/ottawacitizen/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/unknown-jpeg_83560690-w.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=576 2x” height=”750″ loading=”lazy” width=”1000″/>
The new directive for the French Catholic school board comes into effect on Monday, said the director of the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est, the French Catholic school board for the Ottawa region. Photo taken by Gord Holder /Postmedia

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and the Ottawa Catholic School Board have also reassured parents and guardians that positive cases will be reported in those school systems. OCDSB Director of Education Camille Williams-Taylor said in a letter to parents on Friday that the board would create a website where parents could check for voluntary reports of COVID-19 cases in schools.

But she warned the council would rely on families to voluntarily disclose their COVID-19 status and the council “cannot guarantee the accuracy”.

The city’s English-speaking Catholic board says it will email the parents of other students in a class if it is notified of a positive case of COVID-19.

Ontario has suspended reporting of COVID-19 cases in schools, which were previously tracked with lab reports of positive PCR tests. It also ended the policy of expelling unvaccinated students if there is a case of COVID-19 in their class or cohort.

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