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Teacher came to work with symptoms, masks not worn before COVID-19 outbreak that shut down school

Teacher came to work with symptoms, masks not worn before COVID-19 outbreak that shut down school
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At least one teacher at a Pembrooke high school came to work with symptoms of COVID-19, and more were not wearing masks before an outbreak that has left at least three teachers ill and prompted the first school closure in the province, the Star has learned.

All students at Fellowes High School have been ordered to learn from home, online, “effective immediately ... and until further notice,” the told parents in a letter posted Wednesday on its website.

The infections occurred before the reopening of school and were “a direct result of educators not abiding by public health guidelines — they were not wearing masks, they attended school while being symptomatic, which obviously goes against all public health guidelines, including the guide to reopening schools,” said a source familiar with details of the outbreak.

“It’s completely unacceptable,” said the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the situation.

The first teacher to become infected acquired COVID-19 in the community, the source said, before having unmasked contact in the school with another teacher, who later became infected.

When a third teacher became infected, the acting chief medical officer of health for the Renfrew County and District Health Unit ordered the school shut down.
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