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Ashmont School reporting 11 active cases of COVID-19

Students in Kindergarten to Grade 6 at Ashmont School will be doing at-home learning for the rest of the week.
File photo

ASHMONT - The number of active cases of COVID-19 connected to Ashmont School has increased to 11 cases.

Superintendent Glen Brodziak confirmed on Tuesday that a number of positive cases had been reported, and the Kindergarten to Grade 6 portion of the K to 12 school had transitioned to at-home learning.

When speaking with Lakeland Today on Monday morning, Brodziak said there were five cases connected to the school. That number jumped to eight by Monday afternoon. On Tuesday, Brodziak confirmed 11 cases at the school.

When asked if the school was considered to be an outbreak, Brodziak said "We have not been given any official word of ‘outbreak’ status."

A letter was sent out on Feb. 22, stating the school would transition to at-home learning for all elementary-aged students from Feb. 23 to Feb. 26. The school is still open for Grade 7 to 12 students.

"The switch to at-home learning is necessary due to the number of positive COVID-19 cases among elementary students and staff, and also the number of staff who are legally required to self-isolate as close contacts. We are already experiencing a shortage of substitute teachers and support staff and cannot be assured of having enough staff in place to effectively teach all the students, and maintain their safety," reads the letter, signed by Brodziak.

The division made every effort to reach all parents and guardians on Monday afternoon, and offered an apology for those who were not contacted, "but timelines were very short," according the superintendent.

The decision to move to at-home learning was made after careful consideration and in consultation with Alberta Education, said Brodziak. The situation is evolving quickly and information will be released if the division deems it necessary to transition more students to at-home learning.