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COVID cases confirmed at Ashmont School

Two cases of the virus has been confirmed at the K-12 school
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ASHMONT - Two positive cases of COVID-19 have been connected to Ashmont School, and St. Paul Education Regional Division has opted to close the school on Monday.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) informed the division of the positive cases. 

"From what we understand, the transmission did not originally occur within the school," according to a letter addressed to parents and guardians on Sunday, signed by Superintendent Glen Brodziak. Ashmont School is a K to 12 school, located in the County of St. Paul.

The school will be closed on Oct. 19, in order to perform cleaning throughout the entire school. It is expected to reopen on Tuesday, "with all necessary protocols in place," said Brodziak.

"Alberta Health Services is working closely with St. Paul Education and the Ashmont School administration to ensure the necessary steps are taken to protect the health and safety of students and staff," said SPERD Chair Heather Starosielski, who is also the trustee for the Ashmont region. "The division reminds parents and guardians of students, as well as staff members, to monitor for any signs or symptoms of COVID-19."

The division was personally reaching out to the individual students and staff members that have been identified as close contacts to the positive cases, and informing those people that they must remain at home. AHS will do follow-up with these people with further instructions, said Brodziak.

First Nation Inuit Health Branch will be identifying and coordinating the close contacts for nation buses.

"To protect the privacy of the individuals, no further case details will be provided," said Brodziak.

A letter from AHS was also sent to parents and guardians, confirming it was investigating a case of COVID-19 at Ashmont School.

"The risk of the general population in the school becoming infected because of these cases is low," reads the letter from Public Health.

However, anyone that develops symptoms is asked to self-isolate at home and complete the AHS COVID-19 online assessment tool, or call Health Link at 811 as soon as possible to arrange for testing. 

Starosielski also wanted to thank everyone for their "patience and support."