COVID Case Response
The Friday announcement regarding a COVID case was related to our grade 8 classroom and bus contacts only. Roughly 65 students and staff are now isolating until next Tuesday. Our thoughts go out to those families who are ill and wish them a speedy recovery. To those students who are now learning from home, we apologize but are confident that we can support them remotely as we did in December and after the holidays.
To provide clarity for all of our community members and in response to a few questions we have received regarding our COVID protocols, I am providing you with a snapshot view of how each case has been handled and a communication protocol that we will follow.
All of these processes are designed to ensure safety and privacy for those affected by this disease. In addition, our FSD school relaunch handbook outlines this process here.
Example COVID Case Response
All cases this year have been responded to with a very similar process that typically followed within a few hours of a case being identified:
- School or Division office is contacted by family or AHS about a COVID positive case.
- Within the hour, there is a video conference with Heritage Heights admin and division office to contact trace. These meetings include the superintendent and/or assistants, data services personnel, communication specialists and legal and/or maintenance staff In all cases this year, this occurs on evenings and weekends.
- Last contact date at the school is established via attendance records and contacting staff as needed.
- Bus seating lists and attendance are gathered.
- Classroom schedules and homeroom lists are produced including phone and email addresses provided to the school.
- School staff members or other classrooms that may be affected are added to the list.
- Typically anyone inside a space for longer than 15 minutes and those seated across, in front or behind on the bus are put on this list of close contacted students.
- All members of the admin team or division office staff produce standard communication to those affected and the community at large. To protect privacy, we do not identify student or grade in public announcements.
- Close contacted student parents, teachers and staff are contacted via email and an automated phone call.
- Public announcement on our school website and emailed to all members of our community.
- School staff virtually meet first thing in the following morning to advise full details and ensure no staff members were missed via close contacting guidelines.
- Emails from admin and teaching staff generally are sent out immediately afterwards or as soon as possible to those families asked to self-isolate.
- Staff and students are equipped with online learning opportunities in the majority of cases with maybe a day at most for materials to be provided for at home learning. In the case of our most recent case, the teachers and students easily slipped into an online model established by the mandatory lockdown in December, the very first day of isolation requirements.
- Last but not least, I will also mention reminders or information about cases during the weekly Husky Minute. Once again, I'm limited in what I can share, but to once again reach you through our social media channels to ensure transparency.
The process is always being refined, but as you can see, we respond as quickly as possible and contact all those involved rapidly. I personally have a huge amount of gratefulness to those in this process who invest their time in ensuring we protect students as quickly as possible and understand the challenge of COVID for our families staff and students. In all cases, we ask that if you have questions, you are welcome to call the office and we will support you with enough information as we are permitted to share.
Thank-you for your supporting us as we attempt to be as transparent as possible without disclosing personal health information.