Hamilton school boards report 49 COVID cases in third week after classrooms reopen

·2 min read

Hamilton schools reported 49 COVID-19 cases and one outbreak in the third week after the return to in-person learning.

School boards reported 41 cases of the virus the previous week.

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, which has a student population of approximately 50,000, reported 29 cases — 26 students and three staff — between Feb. 22 and 28.

In the same week, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board, which serves approximately 29,000 students, reported 20 confirmed and probable cases of the virus — 14 students, three staff, two adult learners, and one “third-party employer.”

There are currently 17 schools in the Catholic board with cases.

An outbreak was declared at St. Eugene Catholic Elementary School reporting three confirmed cases of the virus — a staff member on Feb. 23, a “third-party employee” on Feb. 22 and a student on Feb. 15 — at the school.

There is also an outbreak at St. Ann Catholic Elementary School in central Hamilton, where there are three positive staff cases.

Outbreaks at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Elementary School, which reopened on Monday after being closed for more than a week, and A.M. Cunningham Elementary School were declared over.

Hamilton public health lists the schools in outbreak as having “no variant” associated.

Schools in Hamilton reopened for in-person learning on Feb. 8 with enhanced health and safety measures.

Since students returned to in-person learning, there have been 100 cases and four outbreaks at school boards in Hamilton.

Two cases of the virus were reported at Mohawk College over the weekend.

A case of the virus was reported on Sunday in a student at the Mohawk Centre for Aviation Technology. The student was last in classes on Feb. 25.

Public health has “carried out the investigation … and is in the process of contacting everyone who is considered to have been in close contact with the infected student,” reads a Feb. 28 update from the college.

A case of the virus was reported on Saturday at Mohawk College’s Fennell campus. The infected student last attended class on Feb. 24.

The college says “no other students have been asked to self-isolate related to this case.”

Kate McCullough, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator