The Grey Bruce Health Unit is continuing to work with Bluewater District School Board to address a previously identified probable case of COVID-19, now confirmed positive, as well as a second probable case, associated with Highpoint Community School, in the Township of Southgate, Ontario.
A probable case is defined as someone not yet tested but is showing symptoms and who has a direct link with a positive case.
While there are two individuals with probable and confirmed COVID-19 associated with this school, our assessment, to date, indicates that transmission did not take place within the school environment. There is strong evidence that transmission occurred outside of the school. Currently there are no outbreaks (i.e. evidence of transmission from person to person) in any schools or childcare centres in Grey Bruce. No bus routes of any schools are involved with this case.
In this situation, the individuals with COVID-19 have been contacted directly by our COVID-19 Case and Contact Management Team. We have worked with the individuals and the school, along with the school board and have identified all others, both in and out of the school environment, who may have been exposed and have determined their risk level. Our Case and Contact Management Team has identified further high-risk contacts and, as a result, have excluded an additional cohort within the school.
Those NOT contacted by Public Health need not take any additional steps including asymptomatic testing.
Public Health is the lead in all outbreaks and case management. Public Health will contact you if you have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, based on a thorough risk assessment completed only by Public Health.
Determining who has had close contact is a decision that can only be made by Public Health. Anyone at heightened risk of COVID-19 transmission due to close contact to a person with COVID-19 will be contacted by Public Health within 24 hours of the investigation.
The Grey Bruce Health Unit will direct those considered at risk regarding testing requirements and recommendations (e.g., timing). There is no value in anyone being tested before they are notified and instructed to do so by Public Health. Results of early testing are unreliable and place individuals at risk of more testing than is required.
As a reminder to the public, if you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19, please proceed to your nearest assessment centre for testing.
All contact tracing and determination of individual and community risk is made by Public Health. This is true of all cases, whether in schools, workplaces or the community. A health care provider or school official cannot make this decision.