Alberta Health Services (AHS) has developed a guide to assist staff and parents/legal guardians in understanding what to expect if there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in one of our schools.
- DOWNLOAD: Positive COVID_19 Test Result Flowchart (PDF - 77 KB)
What are the school’s roles and responsibilities?
- Follow recommendations from AHS Public Health, including when to resume regular instructional activities that may have been disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak and returning to standard practices.
- Send a message to parents/legal guardians, when advised by AHS, that the outbreak is over and to remind parents/legal guardians to continue to complete routine daily screening of students/children for signs or symptoms of illness.
- Inform the school authority that the outbreak has been declared over.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of your school’s response:
- discuss and note best practices and lessons learned.
- identify any issues in your response and effective solutions.
What is Alberta Health Services’ (AHS’) role?
- AHS Public Health will work with the school administration to determine when the outbreak can be declared over. The standard time frame is 28 days with no new cases. The Zone Medical Officer of Health (MOH)/designate declares the outbreak over in the school.
- AHS Public Health will notify Alberta Health that the school COVID-19 outbreak is over and close the outbreak investigation.
What is Alberta Health’s role?
- Alberta Health receives a report that the COVID-19 outbreak is over.
- Alberta Health will update the public website to reflect when the outbreak is declared over/closed.
Does everyone in the class need to be quarantined if there is one symptomatic child/staff/visitor/volunteer?
No, everyone in the class does not need to be quarantined. If a child/staff/visitor/volunteer has one of the core symptoms of fever, cough (new cough or worsening chronic cough), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing (new or worsening), runny nose, or sore throat, they must stay home and isolate for 10 days. If they have any other symptoms of illness, they should stay home until their symptoms resolve. Any individual with symptoms of COVID-19 should be tested as soon as possible, which can be arranged through the AHS online self-assessment tool. Contacts of someone who IS NOT a case of COVID-19 are not required to isolate or quarantine.
Does the school need to send the whole class home if the teacher becomes a confirmed case of COVID-19?
If a teacher or staff member becomes a confirmed case of COVID-19, Alberta Health Services’ Public Health will work with the school community to identify close contacts and ensure that they follow the appropriate quarantine restrictions. The specific details of the case will determine who is considered to be a close contact.
How many confirmed cases in a single school will result in closure of the school?
Anyone confirmed case will result in an investigation by Alberta Health Services Public Health. It is likely with a single case that exposure is limited to a single class or group. Closures of specific classes, cohorts, or schools may occur depending on the outcome of an investigation. Public health measures for outbreak management are at the discretion of the Zone Medical Officer of Health (MOH); decisions on the need for alternative instructional delivery plans or school closures will be made by the Government in conjunction with local officials.
What does the school administration do if a staff member or parent/guardian of a student/child calls the school to say they/the student or child are COVID-19 positive and the school has not been previously notified by AHS?
AHS receives all of the case notifications directly from the lab. If there is a confirmed case in a school, the school will be contacted by AHS. It is not necessary to contact AHS to confirm. The appropriate individuals and schools will be notified. Parents and staff with general inquiries can call Health Link at 8-1-1 or visit the AHS website