Pembroke, Ont. high school first in Ontario to close after COVID-19 cases

Pembroke, Ont. high school first in Ontario to close after COVID-19 cases
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PEMBROKE -- Fellowes High School in Pembroke, Ont. has been ordered closed to staff and students following three confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health for the Renfrew County and District Health Unit ordered the closure of the school on Wednesday afternoon after the third case of novel coronavirus involving staff at the school.

Fellowes High School is the first school in Ontario ordered closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak since the new school year began.

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, the Renfrew County District School Board said the decision was made after a third case was confirmed on Wednesday that was linked to two previous cases.

"The closure is effective immediately and will remain in place until further notice. The school will reopen only with public health approval," said RCDSB Communications Manager Jonathan Laderoute.

Students can continue with online learning while the school is closed.

A COVID-19 outbreak was declared at the high school on Tuesday evening. The health unit said a second positive case of COVID-19 in a school staff member was linked to the original individual who tested positive for novel coronavirus.

The health unit said on Tuesday that they were confident the outbreak could be controlled.

"Fortunately, the outbreak is in a relatively confined area of the school with a small number of people at risk. Although there might be a few more cases, RCDHU is optimistic that this outbreak can be well contained without further spread throughout the school," said the statement from the RCDHU.
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