The South East Cornerstone Public School Division is feeling the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Director of Education Lynn Little confirmed Friday that the division has 794 confirmed cases amongst staff and students as of Friday morning. That's up from the 630 cases that were confirmed on Tuesday.

"It's definitely high in terms of us managing and working through that, whether that be staff or students," Little said. "But those absenteeism rates are certainly providing many challenges for us, both with staff and students."

Little said that the absenteeism rates vary from school to school, but that some schools are as high as 70 per cent.

A letter from the division to parents on Tuesday also indicated that there had been some confusion regarding the protocol for close contacts and who can and cannot attend classes in person. The letter states that all students can attend if they do not have symptoms and have not tested positive. This includes all students who have been a close contact, regardless of their vaccination status.

However, students who have been a close contact and who are unvaccinated cannot participate in extracurricular activities, the letter says. Vaccinated students who have been a close contact can still participate in extracurricular activities.

Little added that remote learning continues to be on the table, especially with all of the staff shortages.