COVID-19 Variant of Concern exposures at George Vanier Catholic School

Renfrew County & District Health Unit distributed the following on April 16:

Today, April 16, Renfrew County and District Health Unit (RCDHU) in collaboration with the Renfrew County Catholic District School Board (RCCDSB), is confirming that there were COVID-19 exposures at George Vanier Catholic School in Combermere, on April 6 and 7. The two students who exposed the school are suspected to have acquired a COVID-19 Variant of Concern (VOC), and were originally exposed outside of the school setting.

All staff and students should arrange for testing

At this time, there is no evidence that transmission occurred in the school setting. However, out of an abundance of caution we are requesting that all students and staff of George Vanier Catholic School arrange for testing. This is because VOCs may spread more easily and more quickly than other strains of COVID-19.

RCDHU is working closely with the RCCDSB to ensure necessary measures continue to be in place to protect all staff, students and the public. RCDHU staff is actively investigating the case and all high risk contacts will receive a standard text message from RCDHU’s virtual assistant and called by Public Health Ontario within 24 hours, notifying them that they have recently been exposed to COVID-19. All high risk contacts will be directed to complete the virtual assistant survey to complete contact tracing. If you are a high risk contact:

  • You MUST self-isolate and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days. Do NOT return to work, school or child care, in-person. Do not leave your property unless it is an emergency or for testing purposes; 
  • Call the Renfrew County Virtual Triage Assessment Centre (RC VTAC) at 1-844-727-6404 to book an appointment for testing;
  • If test result is negative, continue 14-day isolation because of exposure and because COVID-19 could have been developing (incubating) at time of test and you could still become positive up to 2 weeks after your exposure;
  • If test result is positive, continue to self-isolate and you will be contacted by RCDHU;
  • If a staff or student is deemed a high risk contact and refuses testing, they also must self-isolate for 14 days.

If you have been directed to self-isolate, you are required to:

  • Stay home. Do not go to work, school, child care, or public places. You can go outside, but you must stay on your own property. Do not walk around the neighbourhood.
  • Avoid contact with others. No visitors unless deemed essential (e.g. care providers), stay in a separate room away from other people within your household, use a separate bathroom if possible.
  • If these steps are not possible, maintain a distance of 2 metres from others at all times.
  • Keep your distance. If you are in a room with other people, keep a distance of at least 2 metres and wear a mask or face covering that covers your nose and mouth.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

RCDHU is reminding residents to complete the COVID-19 self-assessment tool or COVID-19 school and child care self-assessment tool daily before going to work, school or daycare, to monitor for symptoms and proper guidance.

For more information, visit RCDHU’s website at or call 613-732-3629 or 1-800-267-1097.

Renfrew County & District Health Unit(2021,Apr.16) RCDHU Confirms COVID-19 Exposures at George Vanier Catholic School [media release]

photo RCCDSB

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