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Heinsburg School on outbreak status

Education minister expected to attend Tuesday afternoon COVID-19 update.

ST. PAUL - Not long after one local school was taken off the respiratory illness outbreak list, another has been added. 

Glen Avon School in St. Paul was cleared of its outbreak status on Oct. 1, and just days later on Oct. 4, Alberta Health Services (AHS) notified Heinsburg Community School of its outbreak status. Both schools fall within St. Paul Education Regional Division.

Shortly after the respiratory illness outbreak was declared, the nearby community of Frog Lake First Nations announced it would not be sending buses to Heinsburg School for 10 days. 

The letter from AHS sent out to staff, parents and guardians at Heinsburg School stated "The Medical Officer of Health has declared a respiratory illness outbreak... COVID-19 has been confirmed in some of the ill individuals."

Schools currently on outbreak within St. Paul Education are F.G. Miller Jr./Sr. High School in Elk Point, Elk Point Elementary, Two Hills School, and Racette Jr. High School in St. Paul. 

There are "No new reports of absences reaching 10 per cent," confirmed superintendent Glen Brodziak, on Tuesday.

A provincial COVID-19 update is expected to take place at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, and will include Premier Jason Kenney, Health Minister Jason Copping, and Education Minister Adriana LaGrange.

A notice from Frog Lake Education Authority sent to parents and guardians confirmed that the First Nations community would be moving to online learning from Oct. 5 to Oct. 20 for all three of its schools, which include Chief Napewaew Elementary School, Tus Tuk Ee Skaws School, and Frog Lake Oskayak Outreach School. The situation will be reassessed on Oct. 18. 

"We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but the students' health and safety remains our highest priority," reads the letter.

The Frog Lake region, according to Government of Alberta information, has 78 active cases. The nearby region of St. Paul (which includes Saddle Lake) is at 299 active cases. The Bonnyville region is at 208 active cases, and Cold Lake has 183 active cases. Lac La Biche has 90 active cases.

*Numbers accurate prior to the Oct. 5 provincial update, using the Local geographic area.


Janice Huser

About the Author: Janice Huser

Janice Huser has been with the St. Paul Journal since 2006. She is a graduate of the SAIT print media journalism program, is originally from St. Paul and has a passion for photography.
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