COVID cases largely contained at Trillium Lakelands schools

By Kirk Winter

Students congregating at lockers won't happen for a while because of how many unvaccinated students remain.

Director of education for the Trillium Lakelands District School Board Wes Hahn said there are only five cases of COVID in TLDSB schools.

There “have been no real spikes or real rises since school began and that is good,” Hahn said.

“We have five active cases in the schools that have come in from outside. Those students have been isolated, and there is no spread that we know of.”

Hahn said the board continues to encourage those students over the age of 12 and members of their extended families to get vaccinated. Currently 30-35 percent of that student cohort is still unvaccinated, which includes children under 12 who cannot yet be vaccinated.

“If we have a case in the high schools,” Hahn explained, “students who are double vaccinated can return to school immediately. Unvaccinated students cannot return unless you are cleared by public health, typically after 10 days of isolation. That is a lot of school missed.”

“It is paramount for the protection of students that we have as many vaccinated as can be,” Hahn said. “Vaccinations allow extra-curriculars to operate. Vaccinations allow more interactions between students to occur safely and vaccinations allow students to stay in school.”

Trustee Gary Brohman wanted to know when lockers are going to become available for students.

“They aren’t,” Hahn replied. “We are concerned about unvaccinated kids congregating at lockers where a lot of contact will occur. This is to be avoided. So for now we are saying no to lockers.”

Hahn then segued to staff vaccinations telling trustees that currently 86 per cent of board staff are fully vaccinated, with 14 per cent medically exempt or performing the vaccine education program which includes testing twice a week for COVID.

Trustee Colleen Wilcox asked for an update of the health unit vaccination drives that had used board sites to host their events in September. Wilcox was told that four such mass vaccination clinics had been held with “only 20-50” students getting vaccinated at each school.

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