September 15, 2021 - Alberta has declared a state of public health emergency and new measures have been announced by the Government of Alberta. These new measures for schools come into effect starting September 16. The two changes for K-12 schools include:
- Mandatory masking for students in Grades 4 and up, plus staff and teachers in all grades
- Elementary schools to implement class cohorting.
Additional information and direction will be shared Thursday, September 16th.
Earlier, PSD also introduced the following:
With rising community cases, we expect that COVID-19 will be present in PSD schools. As such, we may see COVID-19 or respiratory illness outbreaks. Outbreaks are determined by Alberta Health Services, based on consultation with the school. Families will be notified of a school outbreak via email.
Should a school be determined to have an outbreak, our response will include the following:
- Increased attention to hand hygiene
- Enhanced cleaning of high touch surfaces
- Monitoring for symptoms and complete the Alberta Health Daily Checklist
These measures will remain in place for the duration of the outbreak.
PSD To Notify Close Contacts
Additionally, PSD has assumed the responsibility of notifying close contacts of a known positive COVID-19 case. Since there is no legal requirement for close contacts to quarantine, AHS is no longer identifying or notifying individuals who have had close contact to someone with COVID-19. However, as an additional precaution, PSD will notify classes (or fellow bus riders) of close contacts, but only when permission has been granted by the COVID positive individual or their parent/guardian.
At this time, there is no need to quarantine if you are deemed a close contact; it is recommended that close contacts of a positive COVID-19 case monitor for symptoms.
- If staff or students develop symptoms as listed on the COVID-19 Alberta Health Daily Checklist, they will be asked to please isolate at home and complete the AHS COVID-19 Self-Assessment tool or call Health Link at 811 as soon as possible to arrange for COVID-19 testing.
- Household contacts of a case of COVID-19 are strongly recommended to stay home for at least 14 days from last exposure to the person with COVID-19 if they are not fully immunized.
Reporting Absentee Rates to Alberta Health Services
Parkland School Division is working with Alberta Health Services once a school reports greater than 10% absenteeism. In order to assist AHS in these investigations, we are encouraging parents/guardians to share if their child is experiencing one or more of the following core COVID-19 symptoms:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Loss of sense of smell or taste
Individuals are encouraged to report positive COVID-19 tests and record their absence with their school in the regular manner. This will all help with the AHS investigations.
If staff or students develop symptoms as listed on the Alberta Health Daily Checklist, please isolate at home and complete the AHS COVID-19 Self-Assessment tool or call Health Link at 811 as soon as possible to arrange for COVID-19 testing.
For further information, contact:
Parkland School Division