The rising number of COVID cases in River View Public School has led to parents reaching out to SaultOnline, voicing their concerns.
According to the Algoma District School Board’s (ADSB) website, there are now six active cases at River View Public School.
In response, we have learned that Riverview Public School is going to virtual learning for 10 days starting tomorrow. That was the information shared with parents yesterday and confirmed by an e-mail statement to us today.
ADSB Director of Education Lucia Reece provided the following response to our inquiry:
“Algoma District School Board has been working closely with the Algoma Public Health unit to support several contact tracing investigations, following positive COVID-19 tests linked to individuals connected to River View Public School.
Given the current number of cases, the high absenteeism rate (opting for virtual) and the number of classes already pivoted to hybrid, effective Monday, October 25th, all classes at River View P.S. will move to virtual for at least ten days. Please note that this decision is precautionary and intended to support the best scenario of staffing and supervision, while reducing the potential for additional asymptomatic spread. ADSB will be communicating with families closer to the proposed return date, to confirm when their child’s class is able to revert back to in-person learning.
We regret any inconvenience this may cause, however, do feel this precautionary decision is in the best interest of student and staff safety.”
Reece also wanted to reiterate that the school is not closed. The move to remote/virtual learning is simply a precautionary measure made by the School Board, not one that was ordered by the Public Health Unit.
In terms of the daycare, Reese said “It is important for everyone to remember that although the initial case was in the daycare and there was no impact to the school, landscapes change quickly and contact tracing sometimes leads to revealing additional contacts and interactions.”
According to them, on Fri. Oct 15th at 4:33 p.m. they received a message which stated, “Algoma Public Health (APH) is advising you that an individual associated with the childcare centre located at River View Public School has tested positive for COVID-19. This case does not impact the River View Public School Community. “
They are concerned that 8 days later and, as of right now, 6 confirmed COVID cases are associated with RV students.
“We also received correspondence tonight indicating that, given the # of cases, the entire school will be moving to virtual learning starting Mon. Oct. 25th to, at least, Mon. Nov. 1st inclusive.”, stated the parent.
They were concerned a little with the timeline, “On, Tues. Oct. 19th – 7:02pm email sent indicating 1st positive case at RV PS. Two days later – Thurs. Oct. 21st – 9:30 pm – another email/ltr indicating my child is a high risk contact as s/he may have been exposed on the bus on Mon. Oct 18th.
So, is this relating to the case identified two days earlier? It’s so hard to know anything, because these are separate emails! If this is the same case, why did it take another two days to notify parents of that potential exposure??”
They believe the whole situation appears to have been mismanaged.
“I question why advice like this is provided, ‘Unvaccinated household members must stay home except for essential reasons such as work or school during the child’s isolation period.’ No wonder the # of cases have ballooned (and likely will continue to). If a child has had a potential exposure (not showing symptoms, and not yet tested, yet perhaps infectious) it’s okay for his/her unvaccinated siblings to attend school??? This doesn’t make sense,” suggested one parent.
In their opinion, the powers that be seemed to have dropped the ball.
“I believe this is a recipe for disaster. The outbreak SHOULD have likely be called late Tues, the 19th, with the school moving to remote learning last Wednesday. (after the 10/15 case at daycare and 10/19 RV case). Kids were needlessly exposed from Wed – Friday last week, and families, like my own, are now reeling from this mismanagement. I expect there will be… more cases in the coming days.”
We are awaiting a statement Algoma Public Health about the ongoing situation at River View Public School.
Stay with us as we provide updates on this breaking story as they become available.