By Charlie Senack, Barrhaven Independent
Half Moon Bay elementary in Barrhaven will be closed until at least Thursday as a COVID-19 outbreak at the school grows.
According to the Ottawa Carleton District School Board dashboard, there are 17 active cases, as of Dec. 6. Ottawa Public Health also says “one third party” has active cases as a result of the outbreak, which means someone who is not a student or staff member, but has access to the school. That could include a transportation driver or volunteer.
An outbreak is declared when two or more cases are suspected to have caused spread in the school.
The school sent out a letter to parents on Sunday sharing the news.
“To prevent transmission of COVID-19, (Ottawa Public Health) has requested the closure of the school to all students and staff,” the letter read. “This order is effective immediately.”
The outbreak was first declared on Dec 1, when less than a handful of cases were reported. They have since quickly climbed. Parents are expected to receive an update on Wednesday about when the school might reopen for in-person learning.
A total of 17 schools in Ottawa are reporting an outbreak of COVID-19 as case counts in the city rise.
Ecole élémentaire publique Michaëlle-Jean in Barrhaven is also reporting an outbreak with two student cases as of Dec. 5, along with Farley Mowat Public School, which also has an outbreak with two cases. The OCDSB dashboard now only lists one active case.
Chapman Mills Public School in the community is currently reporting six active COVID-19 cases, and Mary Honeywell is reporting five active cases, and another case in a third party.
Barrhaven Martial Arts Centre located at 3777 Strandherd Drive, is also reporting an outbreak of COVID-19. The number of cases linked to this outbreak is believed to be high.
On Dec. 6, Ottawa Public Health sent out a statement expressing misinformation that has been spreading around the community.
It comes after rumours circulated on social media which falsely stated a six-year-old girl from Barrhaven died after receiving a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
“We have reviewed our records of adverse events following immunizations (AEFI) and connected with partners at CHEO and the coroners to confirm this information is false,” the health unit said on Twitter.
“All sources report that no child in Ottawa has died from a COVID-19 vaccine,” they added. “Misinformation has direct, harmful impacts on the health of our community, and we take these matters very seriously.”