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COVID-19 variant of concern case at Olds high school

Cremona School, Sundre High School and Reed Ranch School also have students and staff isolating
MVT stock Chinook's Edge building front
File photo/MVP Staff

OLDS - Forty-two Grade 12 students from École Olds High School are isolating at home after a person in the school community tested positive for a COVID-19 variant of concern last week, officials said.

Three other schools, Cremona School, Sundre High School and Reed Ranch School, also have students and staff isolating after COVID-19 cases were identified in those school communities.

The Olds students have been isolating at home since April 1 and are expected to do so until at least April 13, Chinook’s Edge School Division (CESD) superintendent Kurt Sacher said Monday.

School officials are not permitted to say whether the positive case involves a student or staff member.

“Your child was exposed (at the Olds school) to a person with COVID-19 on March 29 and is required to quarantine,” Alberta Health Service said in a contact tracing notification sent to affected parents and guardians on April 3.

“Further testing shows that the person with COVID-19 has a variant of concern. Your child was identified as a close contact of this person. Since you child was exposed to a person with COVID-19, there is a higher chance that they have, or will have, the infection.”

“Your child must stay at home and quarantine until April 13, even if they have no symptoms or test negative.”

All students identified are recommended to take two COVID-19 tests, one immediately and one between April 8 and April 12 if they have not already tested positive for COVID-19.

The students are not permitted to participate in any activities outside their homes, including not attending school, work or worship.

Meanwhile, 23 individuals in the Cremona School community are isolating at home after a single positive case was identified there on April 1, said Sacher.

The division is not permitted to say if the Cremona case is a COVID-19 variant of concern, he said.

The individuals in isolation are expected to remain quarantined until April 14.

The entire school community of the kindergarten to Grade 6 Reed Ranch School east of Olds is at home after several cases of COVID-19 were identified last week.

The school is currently on outbreak status, the level given when there are between five and nine cases. The school was originally on alert status but was moved to outbreak status when an additional case was identified late last week.

There are 60 students and five or six staff at the school, all of whom are now at home.

“The majority are isolating and then the portion who have not been required to isolate because of Alberta Health process are just participating and supporting everyone by learning from home,” said Sacher.

That school is still scheduled to re-open to in-person classes on April 9.

One positive COVID-19 case has been identified at Sundre High School, with four people isolating, Sacher confirmed Monday afternoon. It is not known what grade the students and/or staff members involved are in.

According to geospatial information published by Alberta Health, there were 23 active COVID-19 cases in the Didsbury local geographic area, 25 in the Olds area, two in the Sundre area and 10 in the Innisfail area as of end of day March 31, the last day geospatial information was updated before the long weekend.