Last week, three students of Virden Collegiate tested positive for COVID-19, plus one teacher. Contact tracing was done and by Sunday, a coronavirus test site was set up within Council Chambers in Virden. There, approximately 40 people were tested for the virus. This involved students and families of VCI’s Grade 11 and 12 students.
This week, as of Wednesday, Principal Mark Keown told of three more positive test. “We’re at six students who have tested positive, and one staff member (teacher Janet Yochim).”
He said, “That testing day was Day 10 since our exposure to our original case. So, at Day 10, the students who are considered close contacts go and get tested. And if those test results are negative, then the families of those close contacts can return to work, or to school, whatever the case may be.
“It was an effort to try and support those families because obviously that’s been very challenging, knowing that some of those families could not go to work for that period of time… because they were family members of close contacts.”
“Students themselves will have to remain in isolation until the end of the day Thursday (April 22) whether their test results were negative or positive. If the students test negative their families can return (to work, etc.) The students have to remain in isolation until Friday.”
Grade 11 and 12 students can’t return to class until Monday, April 26, “just to be safe,” says Keown.
Gr. 9 and 10 students can return to regular in-class learning on Friday.
Keown has heard from a number of parents who have tested negative. He hopes that teachers can become eligible for immunization as front-line workers, no matter their age.