CALGARY — A student taking part in summer classes has tested positive for COVID-19, but Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says that won’t affect the province’s back-to-school plans.
The student was attending St. Francis High School in Calgary and has been instructed to quarantine for 14 days, the Calgary Catholic School District said Tuesday.
The student’s teacher and classmates are also self-isolating, the school district said.
“We are working closely with (Alberta Health Services) as they are investigating to determine where the student contracted the illness and who the student has been in contact with since,” it said in a statement.
“We will be conducting a deep clean of the school and will continue with our enhanced cleaning protocols.”
The school will remain open for the remainder of the summer, the school district added.
Provincial officials have said that the decision to return to in-person classes in September was partly based on the success of Calgary Catholic’s summer school program.
Kenney said positive cases are inevitable.
“When we look to jurisdictions like, for example, Taiwan and South Korea — very densely populated countries who have continued to operate their schools without limitations over the past five months — we’ve seen no significant outbreaks,” he said in Edmonton.
He noted that young people seem not to be as affected by the virus as adults.
“So the reality is simply this: as long as COVID is a reality, there are going to be infections.
“The challenge for us is to make sure that those infections don’t reach a peak that overwhelm our health-care system and, on that ground, we’ve done extremely well as a province.”
Alberta reported 80 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. Some 88 people were in hospital and 16 were in intensive care.
There have been 187 Albertans who have died from the illness.
Cases have been rising in recent weeks and health officials warn the infection curve in the province is no longer flat.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 28, 2020
— By Daniela Germano in Edmonton
The Canadian Press