Half Moon Bay School COVID Outbreak Rises to 27 Infections

By Charlie Senack, Barrhaven Independent 

A COVID-19 outbreak at a Barrhaven Elementary School has grown, and won’t reopen until at least Monday. 

Half Moon Bay Public School, located on River Run Ave, now has 25 students and one staff member who has tested positive for the virus. The school is also reporting one “third party” case, which means someone who doesn’t work in the building, but has regular contact, has tested positive. That could include a bus driver or lunch volunteer. 

The school first closed on Monday after a handful of cases were reported. In the coming days, the number of positive results kept climbing. A COVID-19 testing centre opened at the school to test any student or staff member for the virus. 

“Ottawa Public Health will reassess the ongoing school closure on the afternoon of Friday, December 10th and will communicate to families shortly after that,” Principal Christopher Toivonen wrote in an email to families. 

The outbreak comes as COVID-19 is rising in Ottawa, primarily in the younger, school-aged group. Ottawa Public Health has told the Barrhaven Independent that the virus is being transmitted through various settings in the community. They noted families should limit extra-curricular activities, which have led to the riding cases. 

An outbreak at a Barrhaven martial arts centre, which has led to at least 45 cases, is believed to have contributed to the higher number in Barrhaven schools. 

Chapman Mills Public School is now reporting eight active student cases and Mary Honeywell Elementary School is reporting seven, plus a third party case. 

In the Catholic board St. Cecilia is reporting four active student cases, St. Benedict is reporting three, and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School is reporting four. 

A few other schools in Barrhaven are reporting one or two active COVID-19 infections.