Public health and school protocols for responding to COVID-positive cases in our school community have remained largely unchanged; however, there are some new approaches that we would like to share with our parents/caregivers. Here is a review of current protocols:
When the school is made aware of a student or staff member testing positive for COVID-19:
- School makes contact with staff member or family to review public health advice, including: recommended length of self-isolation, return date, close contacts identified by public health
- Estimated return dates for students are shared with staff to support at-home learning planning whenever possible without breaching privacy
Following public health conversations with student or staff member:
- Public health contact tracing determines if there are close contacts
- Contact tracers make calls to close contacts to provide instructions regarding self-monitoring, self-isolation, and COVID testing. If they need contact information for students or staff members, they speak with the school Principal to obtain this information.
- No information is given to the school about the individual who has tested positive for COVID.
Exposure notices are issued to the Principal by public health for distribution: (updated)
- To specific students, parents/caregivers, and/or staff members – if exposure is limited to a group of individuals
- To whole school community – if exposure is broad and/or privacy of COVID-positive individual does not allow targeted exposure notice
Exposure notices are posted on Northern Health website: (updated)
- At the discretion of Northern Health medical officers. Not all exposures will result in a notice on the Northern Health website. These postings will only occur after time has been given for targeted or school-wide exposure letters have been shared by the school. As such, they lag behind other communications (contact tracing and school-forwarded exposure notices).
Note: We do NOT send out school notifications about individuals who have tested positive. Please do not ask school staff to do so on your behalf. We recognize that there are a wide variety of opinions surrounding public health COVID responses and that we cannot, of course, prevent individuals contacting one another about their COVID status. However, we would caution against it – as there may be unintended consequences to students, families and staff in doing so.
Finally, a reminder to all students, staff, and adult visitors to ensure that daily health checks are completed each day before entering school buildings. Masking, cleaning and hand-washing protocols continue to be in place, but it is important for those who are sick to follow public health advice, get tested when presenting key symptoms, and stay at home until they are symptom free. A daily health checklist can be found on our COVID-updates webpage.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding our COVID-19 response, please contact our Principal, Shane Nelson.