Dear SD43 families,
The following information is being provided to you on behalf of Fraser Health around exposure notifications in schools. Please note the notification process for the 2021-2022 school year has been refined as contact tracing procedures have been improved.
COVID-19 exposure at school:
Under current provincial guidelines, Fraser Health will notify staff and students who need to take a specific action, such as self-monitoring or self-isolation, as a result of a COVID-19 exposure. The entire school community will only be notified when appropriate, such as in the case of an outbreak, and this will be posted to the Fraser Health website https://www.fraserhealth.ca/health-topics-a-to-z/coronavirus/school-notifications.
Public health will continue to provide contact tracing for all positive cases of COVID-19 in schools:
- If a student or staff member is confirmed to have COVID-19, and was potentially infectious while they were at school, public health will investigate to determine if there were any potential close contacts within the school.
- If it is determined that there are close contacts within the school, public health will notify the school administrators and request information to assist with contact tracing and provide guidance on what steps should be taken.
- Public health may then:
- Recommend 14-day self-isolation if necessary
- Recommend self-monitoring for symptoms if necessary
- Provide follow-up recommendations if necessary
- Schools will ensure students who are required to self-isolate are able to continue their educational program. Together, schools and public health officials will determine if any other actions are necessary.
- Parents, caregivers, and families will be notified by public health if their child is determined to be a close contact of a COVID-19 positive person.
COVID-19 guidelines in SD43
I also wish to remind you of the following:
- Schools continue to be considered low-risk settings for COVID-19 transmission.
- Vaccines are the most effective way to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in schools. Everyone eligible is strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated (i.e. receive 2 doses) against COVID-19. School exposures are more likely in communities with lower vaccination uptake.
- Masks will be required for all staff. Students in grades 4-12 require masks while indoors. In K - grade 3 classrooms, masks are encouraged. Exemptions will be implemented, in special circumstances.
- Daily health checks for students and staff will be required before arriving at school each day and those with symptoms are expected to stay home and follow the guidance of health authorities.
- Hand hygiene measures will continue, including frequent handwashing and use of hand sanitizer.
Links and Resources
- For the latest information please visit our website at www.sd43.bc.ca.
By working together, schools will remain as safe as possible for students. Continuing daily health checks and staying home when ill, diligent hand hygiene, masks, and vaccinations where possible, will all work in concert to protect the community. I remain confident that students will enjoy a successful school year and reach their academic goals while nurturing their social and emotional well-being. Thank you for your continued support!
Superintendent's Letter re Fraser Health exposure notifications 2021-09-14.pdf