Three London primary schools closed over confirmed and probable Omicron cases


Three Catholic elementary schools with a combined enrollment of 1,300 students are temporarily closing due to several confirmed or probable cases of Omicron variant COVID-19, the London District Catholic School Board announced late Monday evening.

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Three Catholic elementary schools with a combined enrollment of 1,300 students are temporarily closing due to several confirmed or probable cases of Omicron variant COVID-19, the London District Catholic School Board announced late Monday evening.

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St. Marguerite School in North West London, St. Nicholas in West London and St. Mary Choir and Orchestra School in City Center London will be closed for the remainder of the week and students will learn from a distance.

“Since the cases affect staff in several different classrooms across the schools as part of their usual duties, this decision was made of great care to help ensure the health, safety and well-being of all students and school staffs, ”the board said in a statement.

Schools are expected to reopen on December 13.

The announcement came hours after the Middlesex-London Health Unit announced a cluster of 30 COVID-19 cases in London likely linked to the Omicron variant. The new variant, reported late last month in South Africa, has multiple mutations from other known versions of the virus and is believed to be more transmissible.

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The London cases are linked to travelers from Nigeria who arrived in the city late last month, the health unit said.

Although local health officials have said full genomic sequencing results for the samples are pending, the likelihood of an Omicron cluster in London is “very high” given the travel history and screening results in London. lab that showed a marker for the variant.

The health unit said the group involved cases at a south London church called God’s Favorite House and several schools and daycares, but did not identify any schools or daycares.

The London District Catholic Council said the health unit is investigating cases at all three schools and will provide support to communities.

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A number of students and staff are in quarantine, the board said, following confirmed or probable cases of Omicron.

The Thames Valley District School Board said potential close contacts with the Omicron variant have been identified at Princess Elizabeth Primary School in London and Delaware Public School in Delaware.

Those affected are isolating themselves and schools remain open, the council said Monday evening.

“As the situation evolves, we will continue to take precautionary measures based on the advice of our local health units to ensure the safety of our staff and students, which is our number one priority,” Education director Mark Fisher said in a statement.

The health unit began administering the COVID-19 vaccine to children aged 5 to 11 on November 26. More than 4,500 children received their first vaccine in the first week they were eligible, but they will not be considered fully immunized until two weeks after their second shot.

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