January 23rd, 2021

Two cases of COVID-19 at Chinook High School

By Jensen, Randy on September 10, 2020.

Students make their way from Chinook High School at the end of classes Wednesday. AHS has identified two cases of COVID-19 at the school. Herald photo by Ian Martens @IMartensHerald

Lethbridge Herald

After a positive COVID-19 case was reported at Raymond High School over the weekend, Alberta Health Services and the Lethbridge School Division confirmed Wednesday evening there is an outbreak at Chinook High School.

A letter from AHS to the Lethbridge School Division noted the Alberta government defines an outbreak as: If there are two or more confirmed cases in your school setting (staff/child) within a 14-day period (one incubation period) or two or more confirmed cases (staff/child) that are epidemiologically linked.

AHS notified the division that there are two COVID-19 cases at Chinook High and, based on advice from AHS, Chinook will remain open.

The letter added AHS has proceeded with defining close contacts of the two cases within the school context, and those individuals will be contacted by the school through email and individually by AHS as close contacts. Those individuals will be required to quarantine immediately for the period defined by AHS.

AHS staff are scheduled to visit Chinook High this morning to continue the contact-tracing process and review school practices and processes, Lethbridge School Division Superintendent Cheryl Gilmore said in a letter to Chinook parents on Wednesday.

Gilmore confirmed the positive tests, but could not identify if it was a student or staff members who had been infected.

“AHS Public Health is responsible for contact tracing,” says the letter from Gilmore, “identifying and notifying all who have had close contact with the case. Public Health also has provided recommendations to the school about cleaning measures and other control measures to reduce the risk of further transmission. If you are not contacted, then your child is not a close contact and can attend school as usual following all public health guidance.”

Gilmore confirms the high school remains open and custodial teams will be enacting enhanced cleaning protocols.

The additional cleaning will focus on areas where the individuals were present along with high-touch areas and surfaces throughout the facility.

“The health and safety of our staff, students, and community is paramount,” the letter states.

Gilmore also reminded staff members to more closely monitor students for any signs or symptoms using the Alberta Health Screening Questionnaire.

“We know this news can be distressing and supports are available,” the letter concludes. “Please rest assured we will continue to work closely with Alberta Health Services and the Medical Officer of Health in the South Zone to ensure we follow their ongoing recommendations. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your school principal or myself with any questions. Thank you for your continued support to our colleagues, students and community.”

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