Fourth positive case of COVID-19 at Ecole St. Mary High School

Daily Herald File Photo A group of 21 Japanese students will be visiting Ecole St. Mary High School in March and host families are needed.

On Monday evening officials from the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) identifieda fourth positive COVID-19 case in an individual at Ecole St. Mary High School.

The case was not believed to be school-acquired.

 “The individual was only present for one period on one day (Oct. 22) and therefore this case is being considered as a non-close contact,” a press release stated.

Communication is being shared with the specific classroom/cohort, as well as the school community. The SHA is proceeding with their assessment of the situation, and all individuals deemed to be close contacts will be communicated with.

Ecole St. Mary High School resumed classes on Nov. 3 for all students and staff.

Public Health officials are advising students and staff in the affected class to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms daily and not to enter the school if sick.

Staff and students are to monitor until Nov. 5 for symptoms and call 811 if they become symptomatic.

Due to the safety protocols that are in place, this case is deemed to be a potential exposure and is of low risk.

As in all other exposures in the division to protect privacy, they are not able to share or discuss any details.

The students and families of St. Mary will be receiving any updates using the Edsby Portal.

“Thank you to the Health Authority for all of their hard work and efforts. Our thoughts and prayers are with this member of our school community, and we hope they are doing well,” the release said.

Previous cases were identified at the school on Oct. 28 and two cases in the same household were identified on Oct. 25. None of the cases were school-acquired.

Schools praised for work keeping case counts low

Speaking to reporters about the mandatory mask order in the province’s three largest cities Tuesday, the province’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, praised the work of schools in keeping COVID-19 cases to a minimum.

The comments came as Shahab explained that schools are not covered by Tuesday’s order, as they have their own measures, including mask use, already in place.

“Schools have done exceedingly well,” Shahab said.

“Even though we’ve had increases in community cases and seen the odd case show up in school, most of the cases are limited to one acquired in the community.”

Premier Scott Moe added that the best way to keep cases out of schools is to keep them down in the community. He said one way to do that is to wear a mask.

“We need to recognize the tremendous work teachers, staff, school divisions, parents and students have done,” Shahab said.

“If you want to learn how to wear a mask, ask your fifth grader.”

— with files from Peter Lozinski, Prince Albert Daily Herald

Story updated 8 p.m., Nov. 3