With the return to in-person learning, many families have been wondering how and when they will be informed if an active case of COVID-19 should arise in their child's school.
An online tool was launched by the province yesterday, with the purpose of having an interactive map to show outbreaks in schools across the province.
The resource for parents of K-12 students will be regularly updated, and its aim is to provide families with complete transparency of COVID-19 outbreaks.
Alberta Health Services has confirmed 16 cases of COVID-19 at 16 different schools across the province, however, none of these schools are reporting outbreaks at this time.
According to AHS, there are three brackets that schools will fall under if COVID-19 cases are confirmed at the facility.
They are classified as:
- Alert - meaning one case has been confirmed. Parents will be notified by their child’s school as soon as one confirmed case is identified within the school, however, these will not be included in the map.
- Outbreak - Two or more confirmed cases in a school setting within a 14 day period; where the disease had the potential to be acquired or transmitted in the school. Any school meeting this definition will be reported on the map.
- Outbreak Over - A school outbreak is declared to be over when there have been no new confirmed cases in that school for 28 days.
During yesterday's COVID 19 update, Dr. Deena Hinshaw stated that a mandatory notification is in place for all school cases, and outbreaks will be recorded on the online map.
She says "The map will list every school where there have been two or more cases in a school setting within a 14 day period where disease could have been acquired or transmitted in the school. So far, none of the 16 schools that AHS has reported to us have met that threshold."
Hinshaw continued to say that "All parents, students, and staff who are part of a school community where an infectious case is identified have been receiving, and will continue to receive an alert directly from the school whenever one of these situations is identified." She says "There are times when a school sends out an alert before the public health investigation is complete, and so some of these alerts may in fact go out before we understand that there was no infectious case in the school. This can cause a discrepancy in our numbers."
According to the online map no outbreaks have been reported in Cochrane schools at this time.
You can find the online resource here.