K-12 schools adjourn for Christmas break early due to increase in COVID cases, now 9 omicron cases confirmed
Published on December 19th, 2021 @ 3:17 PM
In a surprise Sunday COVID briefing with the Premier, Ministers of Health and Education, and Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Janice Fitzgerald announced 61 new cases of COVID-19 in the province today. 18 are in the Eastern Health region, 1 is a close contact and 17 are under investigation. There are 32 in Central HEalth, 21 are close contacts of previous cases, 10 are under investigation, and 1 is related to travel. There are 10 in Western Health, with 4 close contacts and 6 under investigation. There is 1 case in Labrador Grenfell Health and is under investigation. There are 127 active case in the province. There is nobody currently in hospital.
Also announced, there are now 9 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in the province and 34 presumptive positive cases. 5 confirmed and 7 presumptive in Eastern Health, 4 confirmed and 27 presumptive in Central Health. As such, effective midnight tonight, Grand Falls-Windsor, Badger, Gander, and Twillingate will all move to Alert Level 3. There are also new requirements for travelers. Effective Tuesday (Dec 21) at 3pm, all fully vaccinated travelers must self-isolate for 5 days and carry out rapid testing throughout that time. The same goes for those returning from post-secondary institutes outside the province and minors. Following that, a modified 14 day self-isolation period must be carried out.
Tom Osbourne, Minister of Education also announced that due to the sharp uptick in COVID cases in the province, NL’s K-12 schools will adjourn for the Christmas break early, ending this coming Tuesday. This excludes schools that have already been closed due to cases. There is no plan to move to online learning at this time, however the Department of Education is preparing for that possibility. The decision to remain open for a full day on Monday is to allow for studies to be concluded, supplies to be brought home by students and teachers, and parents to make childcare plans. Schools are scheduled to reopen for lessons on January 4th.