COVID-19 Exposures in Schools

Hello families,

There have been some questions coming in around how the school community will be notified if there are cases of COVID-19 in our school. We appreciate that with the recent exposure events locally, there are apprehensions and questions. If you have any concerns about suspected cases in our school community, please feel free to contact us anytime.

If a student, staff, or another individual who has been in the school is a confirmed case of COVID-19 through testing or investigation, the IHA will initiate contact tracing to determine how they were infected and who else may have been at risk for infection. If it is determined there was a potential exposure at the school (i.e.: the confirmed case attended school when they may have been infectious), IHA will work with the school administration on what actions should be taken. School medical officers take the lead in determining if, when, and how to communicate information regarding a confirmed case to the school community. If there was no potential exposure at the school, IHA will not notify the school administration.

In some cases, affected families will share the information on their own with their families, friends, coworkers, and school connections. If the administrator has not been contacted by the IHA, we cannot send an exposure notification. The school will only be contacted if it is determined the confirmed case was infectious while they were at school.  Ultimately, Schools will take their direction from Interior Health as their contact tracing process is completed. 

You may view the full document outlining these procedures at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/education/administration/kindergarten-to-grade-12/safe-caring-orderly/covid-19-protocols-for-administrators.pdf. We have also attached a copy below.

The following interior health website is also a good reference. It outlines school exposures across the province and clearly lays out the way in which Interior Health will work through contract tracing and notification with schools: https://news.interiorhealth.ca/news/school-exposures/

 

You can help keep your child – and everyone else - safe at school by:

  • Doing a daily health check for your child before school.
  • Keeping your child home if they are sick.
  • Helping your child know how to:
    Manage their space from others
    Clean their hands often
    Wear a mask correctly
    Follow the health and safety rules of their school.

It’s also important to follow province-wide restrictions. This means:

  • Do not host or attend indoor social gatherings.
  • Only attend outdoor social gatherings with up to 10 people from outside your household. These should be the same ten people, not different people each time.
  • Only travel outside of your community for essential reasons like work or health appointments.

Current details on the recommendations and restrictions can be found at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/restrictions

The best way to prevent COVID-19 exposures in schools is to keep the number of cases in our communities low.

Thank you. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.