December 5th, 2020

Asymptomatic testing restrictions will affect testing at Alberta schools

By Jensen, Randy on October 21, 2020.


Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health said Tuesday the province is further restricting asymptomatic testing to people who have come into contact with a known case or are linked to an outbreak.

That will have an effect on testing at schools which have students or staff who have tested positive for COVID-19.

The Lethbridge School Division received a notice from AHS, which they are sharing with the community regarding their shift in COVID contacting process:

“Due to the overwhelming surge of school-related cases in the area, the AHS Public Health team has made the decision to move into its next phase of business continuity and capacity for COVID contact tracing team.

“This means that, unfortunately, AHS will not be able to contact all of the individuals on the class lists (including school staff) for close contacts in the affected classrooms. This is effective Oct. 16 and applies to any letters sent out since Oct. 12.”

The AHS priority is to focus on positive cases and outbreak management including:

– AHS Public Health will aim to contact any out-of-classroom close contacts, such as carpooling, lunch room contacts, affected riders on buses (once clear busing seating plans are provided).

– The close contact letter that was provided for classroom contacts will be the mechanism on who must quarantine.

– The close contact letter that was provided has the last date of exposure, so the quarantine period is calculated 14 days after and is inclusive.

– Class lists and busing seating plans along with contact information (phone and names) should still be submitted, so Public Health can cross reference.

– Any future close contact letters will outline that the letter is the method for communication about quarantine and timelines.

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