A Grade 6 class at St. Augustine School was moved to remote learning on Friday after public health officials declared a COVID-19 outbreak at the K-8 institution.
The Sun learned about the outbreak through an internal letter to parents, dated Oct. 14, that had been circulated online.
A Brandon School Division official verified the letter’s authenticity Friday afternoon and also revealed that the outbreak is impacting up to five individuals.
The numbers line up with the four COVID-19 exposures BSD officials have announced for St. Augustine since the Thanksgiving long weekend, three of which involved individuals from a Grade 6 class.
The division’s last COVID-19 exposure notice, posted Thursday night, didn't come packaged with the usual line: "the infection was not believed to be acquired at school."
According to the internal letter to parents, signed by St. Augustine principal Chris Czarnecki, the Grade 6 class impacted by the outbreak will return to in-person instruction Oct. 25.
"St. Augustine School and the Brandon School Division will continue to work closely with Public Health and Manitoba Education during this pandemic," Czarnecki wrote. "Public Health officials continue to remind parents that they closely monitor their children for symptoms of COVID-19."
As of Friday evening, this outbreak at St. Augustine has not been registered on the province’s official outbreak dashboard.
However, the BSD representative told the Sun the dashboard only gets updated Tuesdays and Thursdays.
This marks the second time a Brandon-area school has experienced a public health-sanctioned COVID-19 outbreak since the beginning of the 2021-22 academic year.
Christian Heritage School racked up 17 cases between late September and early October, forcing a Grade 3 class to move to remote learning.
The province declared the outbreak was officially over Oct. 4.
Outside of these two institutions, nine other Brandon-area schools have registered COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the fall semester on Sept. 7.
These include: Riverheights School, Vincent Massey High School, École O’Kelly, Betty Gibson School, École New Era, Crocus Plains Regional Secondary School, Kirkcaldy Heights School, Linden Lanes School and King George School.
Outside of Brandon, Miniota School is also undergoing a COVID-19 outbreak that’s risen to 11 cases as of Friday evening.
» Twitter: @KyleDarbyson