February 9, 2022 - As announced by the Government of Alberta on Tuesday, February 8th, the province will begin it’s phased plan to eliminate health restrictions that have been in place during this COVID-19 pandemic. Step one of the three-step approach includes the removal of the Restrictions Exemption program (REP), and also impacts the education system in the following manner:
- Effective Monday, February 14, students will no longer be required to wear a mask while in school or riding a school bus. Outside of school, youth aged 12 and under will no longer be required to wear a mask in any setting. Students are not required to wear masks during the school day and while in school.
- All adults, including staff and visitors are required to wear masks while in PSD schools until further notice.
- Students aged 13 and over must wear masks when outside of school for field trips etc. when they are not on school grounds. Therefore, students 13 and over must have access to a mask at all times. Schools can provide students with masks if necessary.
- The GOA provided rapid test kits and medical grade masks will continue to be shipped to schools (a total of three shipments is expected).
- Other existing measures in schools, such as daily screening, cohorting in grades K-6, and enhanced cleaning protocols remain.
- The PSD Vaccination Protocol will remain in place during regular school hours. However, the Division will now be accepting negative results from self-administered rapid antigen testing kits for those individuals who do not wish to provide proof of vaccination through means described in the Vaccination Protocol.
- The Alberta Health Services Daily Checklist and corresponding isolation requirements (including masks) remain in place.
- Fully vaccinated (2 doses or 1 dose Janssen): Starting the first day of symptoms or positive test, isolate for a minimum of 5 days or until symptoms resolve, whichever is longer. Following isolation, wear a mask at all times when around others outside of home for up to 5 more days (10 total). This means you must eat or drink alone, away from others. To be clear, any fully vaccinated student who has tested positive for COVID-19 and choses to return after 5 days MUST wear a mask at all times for 5 additional days. It will be recommended that students who find this challenging should stay home for the full 10-day isolation period.
- Not fully vaccinated (1 dose or less): Starting the first day of symptoms or positive test, isolate for 10 days or until symptoms resolve, whichever is longer.
- If you test negative and have symptoms, you should still stay home and away from others until symptoms resolve.
- With the province’s Restrictions Exemption Program (REP) no longer in place, after-school extracurricular events planned and organized by PSD will be open for spectators beginning Monday, February 14. However, any spectators 13 and over MUST wear masks while attending the events until further notice.
- For high school sports, (Edmonton High School Metro League or Alberta Schools' Athletic Association events) PSD will follow spectator rules for those governing bodies.
Moving to phases two and three of the Government of Alberta plan will be dependent on hospitalization rates continuing to trend downwards and further restrictions would not be lifted before March 1.
For more information, including a detailed description of the province’s plan to safely ease health measures, can be found here.