The Northwestern Health Unit has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at the Sturgeon Creek Alternative Program school in Emo, which impacts all students and staff.

By definition, an outbreak is declared in a school when there are two or more cases and the contact follow-up does not show probable links outside of the school setting.

The NWHU has said there is an increased risk of COVID-19 in the Emo area, as there are COVID-19 cases that are linked to multiple facilities and organizations.

All individuals identified as high-risk contacts for these cases will be contacted by public health staff by the end of the day on April 16. Everyone is asked to strictly follow Ontario’s stay-at-home orders and should self-monitor for any symptoms.

Anyone with symptoms is asked to self-isolate, get tested and remain in isolation until your test results are known. If anyone in your household becomes symptomatic, all members of the household must self-isolate until a negative COVID-19 test result is received.

The facility is currently closed due to Ontario’s shutdown of schools, but the NWHU says they will communicate with the province if in-person learning is resumed, but it is not safe to do so at the SCAP program.

As of April 15, the Northwestern Health Unit is reporting a total of 12 active COVID-19 cases in the Emo health hub area. They’ve seen a total of 20 cases since the onset of the pandemic.

However, this is the second COVID-19 outbreak declared in Emo this week, after the outbreak at the Calvary Baptist Church. That outbreak is linked to one case at the New Gold mine.