St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School in River Canard. Photo courtesy St. Joseph's Catholic Elementary School/FacebookSt. Joseph Catholic Elementary School in River Canard. Photo courtesy St. Joseph's Catholic Elementary School/Facebook

UPDATE: Another Catholic school closing due to COVID-19

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has recommended the closure of another school in the English Catholic school board.

St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School in River Canard will close until further notice, according to the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board.

An increase in the number of active COVID-19 cases has prompted school officials to have students learn from home for the time being. As of Tuesday afternoon, there were five active cases and five classes currently engaged in online learning.

"This decision was made in the best interests of the health and safety of our students and staff. Prior to dismissal [Tuesday], students were told that they would be learning online next week," said board spokesman Stephen Fields. "A dismissal letter from the health unit containing instructions about COVID-19 testing, isolation periods and other instructions was provided to students and emailed to parents."

St. Joseph joins St. Gabriel Catholic Elementary in Windsor as the only two schools in the region closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak. St. Gabriel has a tentative reopening date of Monday, November 29, which is subject to change. All other schools will be open to in-person learning Wednesday as usual.

Students at St. Joseph were asked to take their belongings home, along with any electronic devices needed for online learning. Students without access to a computer can visit the school's parking lot Wednesday to borrow a device. Students are also being asked to check their school email for instructions on remote learning.

The board also announced Tuesday evening that two classes from St. John the Evangelist Catholic Elementary School in Woodslee were dismissed, along with one bus cohort. Two confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported at that school.

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