COVID-19: Rapid Testing and Return Trace to Alberta Schools

At a news conference Tuesday, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer for Health Deena Hinshaw explained that the high number of SARS-CoV-2 infections among school-age children requires the implementation of new measures.

Children can transmit the virus to the people around them who could be at risk of developing a severe form of the disease., She explained.

Starting Wednesday, the province will release the names of schools that have at least two cases of infection.

An outbreak will be declared when 10 people infected with the virus have attended school while contagious, within 2 weeks.

Beginning October 12, the agency will notify schools when a person who has attended the facility tests positive for COVID-19. Schools should then inform parents and staff that they have had close contact with the infected person.

L’AHS will take over the entire close contact follow-up process starting in mid-November.

Finally, students in kindergarten through sixth grade will be homeschooled when 3 or more cases of infection are reported in their classroom within a 5-day period.

Currently, 9 schools offer their courses online, depending on the province.

Quick tests

At a press conference on Tuesday, the province explained that these new measures are aimed at curbing the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 in schools, while children and adolescents from 5 to 19 years old represent a quarter of active cases. in the region.

The province will make free rapid screening tests available to students and elementary school staff to fight an outbreak of 10 or more cases.

The tests will be distributed to students at school and can be taken at home. It will provide peace of mind to parents, children and employees.said Education Minister Adriana LaGrange.

The program will expand to more schools when the province has faster screening tests.

Vaccine proof

The province is also encouraging schools to require proof of vaccination for adults who work or want to enter.

On Tuesday, the Edmonton Catholic School Board announced that the COVID-19 vaccine will be mandatory for all of its employees beginning October 25. Contract workers and volunteers in contact with children must also be fully immunized.

All Edmonton Public School Board and Calgary Public School Board employees, contractors, and volunteers must also be fully immunized by December 17 or test negative for SARS-CoV-2.

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