WINDSOR, ONT. -- The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Frank W. Begley Elementary School in Windsor, dismissing the entire school community.

The health unit says there are now three confirmed cases at Begley and the infectious period was Thursday, Nov. 12.

“It is essential for all staff and students to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms every day. If you have any symptoms, go get tested,” Dr. Wajid Ahmed, Windsor-Essex medical officer of health, said in a news release.

As per provincial direction, a school outbreak is declared if there are two or more cases in a school that are linked, and if there is evidence that at least one case could have been infected in the school, WECHU says.

At the direction of the health unit, the school community was dismissed and has been asked to isolate for 14-days as a precaution.

The first case at Begley was reported on the Greater Essex County District School Board website Thursday, Nov. 12, and the second Sunday, Nov. 15.

WECHU says the entire school is considered “high risk for exposure to COVID-19.” The health unit is working closely with the school along with Greater Essex County District School Board officials to manage the outbreak, further limit the spread of infection, and ensure ongoing measures are maintained to protect students and employees.

All parents and guardians will receive a notice about the outbreak along with additional public health guidelines.

“As always, we are working closely with public health to protect the health and safety of the Frank W. Begley community and following their guidance,” said Sharon Pyke, Superintendent of Education for GECDSB. “The health and safety of students and staff remains our first priority and we continue to inform the school community and implement all health and safety protocols, including enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of the entire school.”

This is the first school outbreak declared in the region. The health unit is reminding residents to “do their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19” by following public health measures.

Dr. Ahmed and CEO Theresa Marentette will address the outbreak during the YouTube Live broadcast Wednesday morning.