Medicine Hat News

Daycare reopens after outbreak, while schools grapple with positive cases

- ktaniguchi@medicineha­ Twitter: kellentani­guchi KELLEN TANIGUCHI

A local childcare service reopened on Monday after an outbreak of COVID-19 last week. Alberta Health says there are nine cases linked to the outbreak at Crayon Academy Inc. on Aberdeen Street and all are still active.

Crayon Academy posted on its Facebook page last week they would be closed for the week and a “good number” of children are in isolation. The academy added two of the cases are the UK variant in response to a comment on its post on April 5.

The academy says the week of being closed is hard on everyone, but staff did disinfect everything and took advantage of the closure to tear out the carpet and finish one of its rooms with tile.

Variants of concern have been increasing throughout the province, including two local schools announcing positive cases.

On April 7, Prairie Rose Public Schools released a statement saying Alberta Health Services informed them of a positive case of COVID-19 at the Eagle Butte High School. At the time, four staff and 69 students were placed into quarantine.

The division issued an update Tuesday, which says the individual who tested positive has a variant strain.

The school remained open after the positive case was announced and the division said students in quarantine will be supported by the school through online and remote learning methods.

The Medicine Hat Public School Division also issued a statement Tuesday night saying AHS had identified a positive case of the virus at River Heights School, putting the school on alert. The statement on the division’s website says some students and staff have been directed to quarantine but the school will remain open. The division adds it is likely the case may be a U.K. variant strain.

“It appears that the exposure was limited to a small group of students and staff and we are confident, based on AHS guidance, that staff and students who have not been directed to quarantine can attend school safely,” reads the statement.

The division says custodial services team was directed to conduct enhanced cleaning protocols before people returned to the building, including a focus on areas where the individual who tested positive for the virus was present in the school.

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