Diploma exams are optional this fall for high school students, the Alberta government said in a statement Tuesday. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Lindsay Thurber adds three new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

Three more individuals at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The school has been listed as an outbreak with 10-plus cases by Alberta Health. According to Support Our Students, an online advocacy group for student rights, there have been 15 cases of the virus at the school since Jan. 1.

Red Deer Public Schools director of community relations Bruce Buruma said cases at the school have accelerated recently after a slow month and the school now has seven cases.

“We’ve seen an upswing in those numbers this week. Overall, in most of our schools it hasn’t been an issue,” he said.

“The message we need to get out is that people need to continue being vigilant around that. They need to be doing their daily checks and making sure if students are not meeting those requirements, they are not coming to school so we can reduce the potential for spread.”

Buruma added that in some cases, there might be a sense of frustration or COVID-19 fatigue setting in.

“I think there’s a piece out there within the community that people are getting frustrated or tired of this. The reality is we still need to make sure our staff and our students and families are being vigilant so we can minimize any connections that are happening within the schools,” he said.

Buruma also noted that it’s up to Alberta Health Services to dictate if the school has to transition to online learning.

Other Red Deer schools on the 10-plus case outbreak list include St. Joseph High School, St. Teresa of Avila School, St. Patrick’s Community School and St. Thomas Aquinas School. Lacombe Composite High School and Ponoka Secondary Campus are also on the outbreak, 10-plus case list.

According to Alberta Health, 339 schools across the province or about 14 per cent are on alert or have outbreaks, with 1,474 cases in total.

There are 243 schools are on alert, with 494 total cases.

Outbreaks are declared in 96 schools, with a total of 980 cases.

In-school transmission has likely occurred in 241 schools. Of these, 127 have had only one new case occur as a result.

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