AHS Outbreak Management

Outbreak Management Update
Posted on 09/13/2021
ECCS Respiratory Illness Management Update

ECCS Respiratory Illness Management Update

September 13, 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians of East Central Alberta Catholic Schools;

RE: Notice of COVID-19/Respiratory Illness Management to Staff and Students

We are providing this letter to clarify the recently published Public Health Management of Respiratory Illness in Schools guidelines. There is no longer a legal requirement for quarantine of close contacts of cases of COVID-19 or an expectation to report positive test results with school administration. As a result, Alberta Health Services (AHS) is no longer identifying or notifying close contacts of cases of COVID-19. For more information concerning East Central Catholic School Division, 2021-22 Return To School Plan, click here.

In light of these recent changes in expectations for positive test reporting, contact tracing, and isolation requirements, our school administrative teams will be following AHS guidelines, privacy regulations, and the health and safety information available at the time. The intent is to provide timely, transparent communication with all our key stakeholders and reduce the response time to implement the appropriate health and safety measures to diminish the transmission of any contagious illness.

Schools are required to notify outbreaks and other infectious disease threats, which is mandated under Section 26 of the Alberta Public Health Act. If greater than 10% absenteeism is confirmed at your child’s school, the Medical Officer of Health will direct Alberta Health Services (AHS) staff to initiate an investigation. The investigation will determine whether or not the increase in absenteeism is related to a single contagious illness (COVID-19, Flu, respiratory or gastrointestinal illness), which will decide whether or not an outbreak will be declared. If an outbreak is declared, AHS and the specific school community will implement additional health and safety guidelines to reduce the rate of transmission.

Viruses are passed from person to person through tiny droplets of liquid, spread by coughing, sneezing, talking, laughing, and singing. Due to these various transmission modes, a person would need to have direct contact with droplets from a sick person or contaminated surfaces to be exposed to the virus.
If staff or students develop symptoms listed on the COVID-19 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 for COVID-19 testing.

If you or your child require medical attention, please call ahead to your health care provider or call Health Link at 811 so that they can safely care for you or your child.

If you need emergency medical care, call 911 and tell them that you or your child may have been in contact with COVID-19 so that they can safely care for you or your child.

To minimize the spread of any virus, we always recommend the following:
•Get immunized against vaccine-preventable virus-related illnesses such as COVID-19 and influenza. Immunization against COVID protects you and your children and others under 12 years of age who are too young for the COVID vaccine.
•If you/your child are eligible for the vaccine, have not been immunized with two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, and don’t have any symptoms currently, please schedule an appointment at www.ahs.ca/vaccine or by calling 811.
•Ensure your child’s routine immunizations are up to date.
•All household members should wash hands often with soap and water thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty.
•Encourage household members to not touch their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
•Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in the garbage and immediately wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
•Stay home if you’re sick. If your kids are sick, keep them home from school.
•Clean and disinfect surfaces that are touched often and shared by everyone in your homes, such as doorknobs, light switches, and bathroom taps.
•Consider wearing a mask and keeping distance from others when in public places.

For further information regarding COVID-19, please call Health Link at 811, or visit the Alberta Health Services website for COVID-19.

If you have not completed the ECACS 2021-22 Return To School Plan survey, please do so.

God bless and stay safe,

Board Chair - Debra Klein
Superintendent - Glenn Nowosad

“We teach; we share; we learn; we care. We grow in Christ, believing that together we can make a difference.” Alberta Public Catholic Education. © 2021 East Central Catholic Schools. All rights reserved.