Stay safe. Stay strong.
Covid keeps us apart, but St. Teresa is in our heart.
Those messages, posted on the school fence at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Elementary School, greeted students and staff as they arrived at the school on Saturday, February 20th for voluntary asymptomatic COVID-19 testing.
The testing was just the first of many clinics that will be offered at the school as part of the provincial government’s expanded targeted testing to keep students safe and school COVID-19 transmission rates low. St. Teresa of Avila was identified as a testing site after nine cases were reported at the school last week. An outbreak was declared on February 18th.
The poster project was initiated by the St. Teresa of Avila Catholic School Council to keep spirits up as students and staff pivot to virtual learning. The school was closed for in-person learning on Friday, February 20th out of the board’s priority concern for the health and safety of students and staff, and ability to sufficiently staff the school. The poster campaign invited students and families to not only share messages of encouragement and support with those affected by the move to virtual learning, but with the many who took part in the weekend testing.
“I was so touched to see the posters that were displayed on our playground fence,” said Principal Devia Catania. “The posters are incredibly inspiring, especially during this temporary return to virtual learning.”
Calling it a shining example of how the school pulls together during times of challenge, Mrs. Catania said the messages were right on point: “We are stronger together.”
On a more serious note, she said the outbreak was a reminder of “how easily COVID-19 can be transmitted within our schools, families and communities.”
She stressed that COVID-19 health and safety protocols will be even more important when students and staff return to school for in-person learning on Monday, March 1, especially the daily self-screening, masking, hand washing and physical distancing requirements. Congregating, by students and staff, is discouraged.
This weekend’s testing clinic was attended by 60 students and staff both from the quarantining groups and non-isolating cohorts.
Individuals are encouraged to continue to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19.