Two Ottawa French-language schools closed, another partly closed due to COVID-19

Ottawa’s French-language Catholic school board has closed two schools and partly closed a third due to COVID-19.

Montfort elementary and Franco-Cité high school are closed, the website of the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est reported Monday evening. Both schools have outbreaks of COVID-19.

As of Tuesday morning, the board listed eight active cases of COVID-19 at Montfort and 17 active cases at Franco-Cité.

Ottawa Public Health data as of Monday afternoon said there were three cases associated with the outbreak at Montfort and 16 cases involved in the outbreak at Franco-Cité. An outbreak is declared when officials have reason to believe there was transmission of the virus at school.

On Tuesday morning, the French Catholic board listed a total of 95 active cases of COVID-19 among students and staff, up from 65 cases as of Monday.

Parents at Paul-Desmarais secondary also received a letter on Monday from the board saying Grade 7 and 8 students would shift to online learning for the rest of the school week. The closure was required because of the high number of staff in self-isolation and difficulty finding substitute teachers, the letter said.

Students at the two French-language boards don’t begin their holiday break until Dec. 24 and are scheduled to return on Jan. 10.

For students at the city’s English-language boards, the last day of class was Dec. 17, and they are scheduled to return to school on Jan. 3.

The French public school board reported 25 active cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches has warned of an explosion of COVID-19 outbreaks in Ottawa elementary schools as the Omicron variant spreads rapidly across Ontario.

In the last week, there has also been a smattering of outbreaks at secondary schools, which were largely spared from outbreaks since school began this fall because most students are vaccinated.

As of Sunday afternoon, there were 22 ongoing outbreaks in Ottawa elementary schools and eight in secondary schools, OPH said.

jmiller@postmedia.com

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