Wednesday, November 18th, 2020
As we are into the colder weather and the second wave of COVID-19, cases are rising throughout the province and there are cases in our local area. We need to remain diligent in our efforts to combat COVID-19 in order to keep our schools open and operating effectively.
We understand and appreciate that there are varying viewpoints on the protocols put in place by the Provincial Government, The Ministry of Education, and the Provincial Health Officer. As part of the public school system, we must adhere to these protocols and ask for your full cooperation. We really appreciate the entire community's diligence and support with these guidelines in our first few months of school.
Parents and caregivers need to assess their children daily for illness before sending them to school. If your child has one symptom that persists for more than 24 hours, a fever, or two or more symptoms from the list (you can see the list on page 7 or SD8’s Pandemic Response Plan at https://www.sd8.bc.ca/sites/default/files/2020-08-26%20-%20STAGE%202%20-%20Pandemic%20Response%20Plan%20-%20signed_0.pdf ), they should be assessed to determine if they should seek testing for COVID-19. You can use the COVID-19 assessment tool at https://bc.thrive.health/ to determine if your child should seek testing. Testing is available for anyone with cold, influenza, or COVID-19-like symptoms http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/about-covid-19/symptoms.
Many symptoms of a cold or the flu are the same as for COVID-19 and can vary in their intensity. The BCCDC indicates that testing is recommended for anyone, including children of any age, with cold, flu, or COVID-19-like symptoms, even mild ones. This is why it is so important to not dismiss an illness as “just a cold” or “It’s not COVID” without having a medical assessment and/or COVID-19 test. If a test is recommended and you opt not to have your child tested, then they need to remain home for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms. After 10 days, if they are symptom-free, they may return to school.
If a COVID-19 test is not recommended by the health assessment, the student can return to school when symptoms have improved and they feel well enough. There is more information about COVID-19 Testing for Children and Youth at http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/testing/children-youth
In Nelson, once you have an appointment for a test, you just drive up to the testing centre, remain in your car, and they come out in their PPE and give you the test (for the gargle test, you will go into the building). The whole thing takes a matter of a couple of minutes from the time you pull up until the time you leave. The process is much the same everywhere.
You can also help us by working with your kids at home on the importance of the basic protocols of physical distancing, hand washing, and the wearing of a mask. Staff and Students are required to wear masks when in high traffic areas such as buses, in common areas such as hallways, and when outside of their learning group. They can choose to wear masks at any other time if that is their personal preference. Masks are not required for younger elementary students, however, SD8 strongly encourages everyone to wear one.
More information may also be found in the SD8 Pandemic Response Plan at https://www.sd8.bc.ca/sites/default/files/2020-08-26%20-%20STAGE%202%20-%20Pandemic%20Response%20Plan%20-%20signed_0.pdf and from the CDC at http://www.bccdc.ca/Health-Info-Site/Documents/COVID_public_guidance/Guidance-k-12-schools.pdf
If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know.
Principal Wildflower School
811 Stanley Street
Nelson, BC V1L 1N8
250 505 7020 (office)
250 551 0638 (cell)